show that 60% of a child's growth hormone is secreted during sleep.
too little sleep appears to have a role in obesity. One study found the effect in babies as young
as 6 months.
• Australian children sleep almost a full hour
per day more than American kids, who sleep less than children in nearly all
• The National Sleep Foundation recommends 14
to 15 hours of sleep for babies, 12 to 14 for toddlers, 11 to 13 for
preschoolers, and 10 to 11 for elementary school agers. Time magazine “Please, Please, Go to
Sleep.” B. Rochman March 26, 2012
In my own
experience along with many conversations with parents, colleagues, family and
friends, there is no question that wartime
over bedtime is part of every family!
Ask any sleep
deprived adult who has argued, bribed, heard every excuse, slept
on the floor, read Good Night Moon a thousand times or tried to sneak
out of a child’s bedroom what they think.
Whew! What we do to get children to participate in the very thing that
adults crave, will go to great lengths to get and have a very difficult time
giving up: sleep!
has multiple resources to support healthy sleep habits for all. Heading into 2014 try some strategies from the
National Sleep Foundation experts in the battle
Here are just a few;
* Always place
babies on their backs to sleep, on a firm mattress and without heavy bunting or
blankets. Google Safe Sleep For All Babies Campaign to review the national
campaign’s multiple resources, tips and information.
* Drowsy babies learn to self – sooth when
it’s time to sleep. Put infants in cribs
before they are sound asleep.
* Toddlers strive for independence and often
choose sleep as a control test; they need set limits and directives.
* Toddlers decrease naptime requirements to
one solid afternoon rest / sleep; keep this time consistent.
Provide a cool, quiet and dark environment without TV or other volume and
visible distractions for preschoolers.
* Most preschooler children give up nap
requirements by the time they are 5, they will “fight” you if you insist on
* Because of increasing demands on time for
children in elementary school ,i.e. homework, sports and friends, sleep is
critical to maintain a healthy body and mind – basically all of their growing
abilities. Make sleep a priority.
agers have intense curiosity and drive.
Keep the TV and computer in a separate environment from their sleep
space. Monitor time spent in front of
For all ages:
* Institute a calm bedtime routine
and consistent schedule.
* Create sleep environments that are personal, cool, quiet
and designated as a rest/sleep space. Eliminate
shared sleep space, sleeping throughout the house (couches...) & “bed
hopping” – children need their own, personal bed.
* Be a model
of healthy sleep habits.
* Establish a calm and relaxing home where
children are supported in active play and restful sleep.
snuggle in soft blankets and tell stories, tell children the story of their
family and how much you love them. Don’t
forget that cherished blankies and lovies help children feel secure and
restful; please be respectful of these special parts of your child’s
sleep. Music and reading are great
relaxers. Bedtime stories are loved by
children and families.
favorite bedtime books for little ones:
On the Night You Were Born Nancy Tillman (if you don’t know this book, please
Kissing Hand Audrey Penn
Night Moon Margaret
Twinkle Little Star illustrated by Sonja Rescek
Night, I Love You Caroline
You In The Morning Mike
rhymes and fairy tales
“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have
one." Leo J. Burke