The Benefits of Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
As adults, most of us recognize the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep and can attribute the lack thereof to decreased productivity and altered mood. However, when it comes to our children, we might not be as empathetic if their sleep depravity affects our own schedule. In Season 2, Episode 8 of Centering Kids: Advice from the Experts at The Florida Center for Early Childhood, host Merab Favorite interviews Allison Phinney, a school-based mental health therapist at Alta Vista Elementary School. The two discuss sleep aids for every age group of children and parenting hacks that will ensure the entire family receives adequate rest.
- Babies – This age group has not yet developed their circadian rhythm and is likely to wake up frequently in the middle of the night. As parents, we must tend to their needs quickly and quietly while maintaining a dark environment with limited noise so they can naturally meet sleeping milestones as they grow.
- Toddlers – While toddlers often sleep through the night, they are typically in a phase of development that revolves around independence. This can sometimes create a power play and make it difficult to put them to bed. Phinney suggests encouraging this development by allowing them to make simple choices before bedtime such as selecting pajamas or picking out a book. It’s also important to maintain a strict schedule with this age group.
- School-Aged Children – This age group can sometimes get overloaded with hectic schedules that can negatively affect their sleep patterns. Phinney recommends keeping activities like homework and screen time outside of the bedrooms so the children associate that part of the house as a place of rest.
- Teenagers – School stress and hectic schedules can sometimes affect the sleep patterns of this age group. Their developing bodies need rest but their internal clock changes, causing them to want to stay up later and sleep in. Phinny recommends that parents encourage thee extra sleep but enforce a no-screen-time rule well before bedtime.
This list just scratches the surface of everything discussed in this informative podcast! To ensure your child is reaping the benefits of getting a good night’s sleep, be sure to listen to the entire episode. Want more great advice from early childhood experts? Click here for a full list of episodes, each with its own interesting topic.