Power Down and Sleep Better
What kid wants to go to bed? Every child that is told to go to bed knows that he/she is missing something! You just know it…your it’s all a big conspiracy! This bed time thing is just a plot to get rid of us while the fun begins…is what went through our minds. The parent’s get to watch better TV shows, have snacks and who knows what else is going on while your in bed! Back in the old days, as I call them – back when I was a kid, we had our tricks to try and stay awake when our parents told us to go to bed. We’d sometimes hide under the blankets with a flashlight reading a comic book, or playing with dolls or action figures. When we were older, we’d try to talk on the phone very quietly to our friends, but that didn’t last long. As soon as mom or dad listened at the door or tried to use the phone, it was all over. We were busted.
These days however, there is a lot more than dolls or comic books to distract our kids from getting a good nights rest. Something that should not be taken lightly is a lack of sleep – especially when it is your children. Our kids need the proper rest for their growing bodies and brains to developer appropriately. We cannot just assume they are getting the sleep at night that they should be getting. We must be proactive in creating an atmosphere that allows them to shut down at night and GO TO SLEEP!
The National Sleep Foundation says that a huge part of kids not getting enough sleep is the presence of electronic devices in their rooms. About 75 percent of elementary school and middle school children have access to electronics in their bedrooms, and the number grows to nearly 90 percent for high schoolers. This is a very big part of why their now able to shut down at night. They are being constantly stimulated. By the time they fall asleep at night, it’s only hours before they have to get up for school.
To help with this issue, the National Sleep Foundation recommends limiting the amount of screen time near bedtime and eliminating it completely an hour before sending them to bed. Instead maybe try reading a book, or talking during family time. This will allow them to wind down properly and get tired. They need to wind down in order to enter the proper REM cycle they need to get a good nights sleep. It will make a all the difference in their day when they awake in the morning. But…we as parent’s must lead by example. At night when you child is winding down, you should be winding down with them. There is not much of leading by example if you’re telling your kid to relax, and wind down if they see you sitting on your phone or laptop. Times are tough, and you may have work to do before the next day, but it can wait for an hour, especially if your putting your children to bed at the recommended times. . Take an honest look at your children’s nightly amount of sleep and determine whether they might be sleep deprived. Kids ages 5 to 12 should be getting about 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night. Teenagers need less sleep, but they should still be getting 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only about 15 percent of teens are getting the recommended amount of sleep each night.
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