Parents' Corner

Children/teens who get the recommended amount of sleep nightly display better mental and physical health.  Along with better mental/physical health, they also show improvement in behavior, learning, attention, memory and emotional stability.

However, children who do not get the recommended amount of sleep are prone to more behavior and learning issues.  They are also at a higher risk of developing health problems, which can include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and depression.  Teens who do not keep a consistent sleep schedule have an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide.  Problems may also develop if children/teens have too much sleep.

Children may not get enough sleep due to an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Find more information on common  pediatric sleep disorders.  While sleep disorders require treatment by a specialist, building healthy sleep habits is a good way to assist with treatment.  The earlier these practices are implemented, the more likely your child/teenager will maintain a healthy sleep schedule, along with many other benefits.  On this page you will find many tips, tools and guidelines to learn more about healthy sleep.

Use the resources below to help your children develop healthy sleep habits and have fun while doing it!

Resources
Bedtime Routine
Sleep Hygiene Tips for Kids
Common Pediatric Sleep Disorders


Fun Activities for the Kids
Word Search (Age 9 and under)
Word Search (Age 10 and above)
Bunny Bedtime Coloring Page
Sleeping Bear Coloring Page
Pajama Time Coloring Page
 

 To promote adequate healthy sleep, it is recommended that children should get the following amounts of sleep on a regular basis: 
 
 

Additional Factors that May Affect Healthy Sleep in Children

Screen Time – A recent study revealed that children between the age of 3 – 5 that were allowed screen time after 7pm had difficulty sleeping.  Screen time consists of television, tablet, video games or computers.  Children being exposed to violent content prior to bedtime is also considered a contributing factor to sleep difficulties.

According to this same study, about 20 percent of participating children had sleep problems almost every day of the week.  These children suffered with difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, had the most problems with sleep.  Late night viewing may also be linked to increased alertness resulting in the child being unable to calm down for bedtime. 

School Start Times – Early school start times affect the amount of adequate sleep adolescents achieve. Insufficient sleep increases the risk of vehicle accidents, poor school performance, athletic injuries, and obesity.  Later start times will allow for more sufficient sleep, better academic performance, better mental health and enhanced driving safety.  Starting school at 8:30 or later will allow middle school and high school students to optimize their day.

Sleep Disordered Breathing – Children with enlarged tonsils, cross-bite and convex facial profile are more like to have sleep-disordered breathing.  An early diagnosis helps to prevent further progression of this disease.  A partnership consisting of dentists, pediatricians, ear, nose and throat doctors with parents will help create the proper diagnosis and treatment plans.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – ADHD is a behavioral and emotion problem that tends to begin during childhood. Most children with ADHD tend to be hyperactive and have trouble concentrating. ADHD has been linked to sleep problems in children. Children who suffer with ADHD and sleep problems are more likely to miss or be late to school. They are unable to sit still or pay attention. A few of the common sleep disorders in children with ADHD are Insomnia, Snoring, Restless Legs Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movements.

Medicine to Induce Sleep – Many parents are seeking medicine to help with their children’s sleep needs. Approximately 1/3 of children in therapy for behavioral problems or other disorders are treated for insomnia as well.  Treatment is normally a prescription or over the counter medication.  These medications include antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-convulsants.  Although most pediatric patients diagnosed with Insomnia are over the age of 6, there have been cases where children were diagnosed as early as preschool age.