Getting the proper amount of sleep plays a major role in your child’s performance in school, as well as their entire well-being. To ensure a good night’s sleep for younger, school-aged children, parents should create a ‘getting-ready-for-bed’ routine before the child’s bedtime, and hold them to it. This would involve turning off the television, video games and other stimulating activities, and beginning to bathe, brush teeth and change into pajamas. Activities such as reading a book or listening to soothing music or sounds may also help kids calm down before bed.
Children and adolescents that don’t get enough sleep may experience difficulty focusing, difficulty staying awake, decreased physical and mental performance, increased stress and mood swings. Overall, a lack of sleep leads to an increased risk of obesity and illness, but with increased extracurricular activities, after school jobs and more demanding course loads, maintaining healthy sleep routines can often be difficult. Parents are encouraged to help their children develop routines that incorporate enough time for school, sports and sleep.
Children and adolescents should be getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, although teens and very young children would benefit from getting ten hours of sleep. Kids who are unable to get into a healthy sleep routine may be suffering from an actual sleep disorder. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of family nurse practitioners, pediatricians, family medicine specialists and other related healthcare professionals dedicated to making sure children in the community are healthy.
Spenser Beasley is a family nurse practitioner at Piedmont Pediatrics and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Spencer received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in 2011 and his Master of Science in Nursing family nurse practitioner program in 2016.