Most parents understand that ample sleep is important for keeping kids focused and ready to learn in school. But according to the American Psychological Association sleep is also a factor in the ability to remember what has been learned throughout the day. Because children are acquiring more new knowledge and skills than adults on a daily basis, it’s even more essential that they get the proper amount of sleep each night. Insufficient sleep can also have a negative impact on the immune system, which can lead to sickness and absences from school.
To combat common illnesses such as the cold, “make sure your little one gets enough sleep, has a healthy diet, and learns to sneeze and cough in his sleeve to prevent spreading infection,” Atlanta pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
So what can parents do to make sure their kids are getting proper rest?
According to Houston pediatrician Dr. Kemba Baker, "Parents can help put their kids on the right track for sufficient sleep by setting an early bedtime, winding down high-energy and high-stimulation activities like exercise and video games at least an hour before that bedtime, creating a calming nightly routine, cutting out caffeine, and making sure the bed is used for sleep only." It is recommended that parents aim for 10-11 hours per night for kids 7-12 years old, and 8-9 hours per night for teens from 13-18.