Research has shown that many tweens are sleep deprived. In order to ensure that your child is getting the required amount of sleep, it’s necessary to keep a consistent bedtime routine.
Sleep is especially important for children as their bodies are constantly growing and changing. Yet, somewhere between 30 - 40% of children don’t get the required amount of sleep. A lack of sleep can result in mood swings, behaviour problems, a lower immune system, hyperactivity and cognitive problems.
Tweens don’t need as much sleep as a younger child will but they still require between ten and eleven hours sleep per night.
Parents can try to ensure their child has enough sleep by sticking to a bedtime routine that is age appropriate.
Why Night time Rituals Are Still Important
When it comes to babies and small children, parents quickly lean that a structured, consistent bedtime is the best way to ensure their kids fall asleep and stay asleep. As children get older, they become more independent and no longer rely on mum and dad to help them with bathing and brushing their teeth before bed. However, a bedtime routine is still important. Here are some of our tips on how best to plan and keep a consistent bedtime routine for your tween:
Talk to your child. Sit your child down and explain how important sleep is and that you feel she isn’t getting enough Work out a plan that will help ensure she gets to sleep easier.
Settle on a bedtime and stick to it. Discuss how many hours of sleep your child needs and what time has to get up in the morning. If your child has to be up at seven in the morning and she requires around 10 hours of sleep, her bedtime should be around 9 o’clock at night.
Make a plan to manage homework and other commitments. If he has soccer practice or a music lesson tomorrow night, work ahead on homework tonight if possible.
Make time for leisure. Your child needs free time, even if it’s just for an hour. Try to ensure that your child gets some time every day to do something fun, whether it’s watching TV, playing video games, or riding her bike.
Just before bed rituals. Think about what relaxes your child. Will a warm shower, comfortable pyjamas or a quiet activity like reading do the trick? Reading to your child is a terrific way to end the day, and just because she can read by herself now doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy being read to.
Make sure her bedroom is conducive to sleep. The temperature and lighting should be and it shouldn’t be too cold, too bright or that there are any distractions.
Be consistent. After you’ve made your plan together, stick to it. It will help her be happier, more rested and productive throughout the day.