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Establishing Good Sleep Habits

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

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Just about every parent, at one time or another has had a battle with their child over sleep. One way to help avoid those nightly conflicts says pediatrician Dr. Sue Hubbard is to establish good sleep habits early on.

“The best way to avoid nightly power struggles is to put your child to bed when they start to get drowsy. Early to bed, easy to bed,” she says. Dr. Hubbard also advises against putting a child to bed when they are cranky. “Because often by the time they’ve gotten cranky and they’re overtired…their body starts to secrete a hormone called cortical, which gives you that second wind and then they want to stay up.”

Dr. Hubbard suggests parents establish a good routine where you have a set bedtime every night and before that time you start turning down the lights, quieting down your child and help them relax.

On average, kindergartners and elementary school age children need 11 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Middle school and high school children need nine to 10 hours.

Dr. Hubbard says that lack of sleep can affect school performance, concentration, mood and a child’s physical health and well-being.

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