A recent study shows our kids sleep in the early years has strong ties to behavior later on.
Parents and caregivers alike know exactly how important our kids sleep is on a day to day basis. We can see very clearly the effects of a skipped nap or a night without the proper amount of sleep; tantrums, irritability, whining, inability to pay attention.
So to cure the problem usually we get them to bed a little earlier the next night or have them lay down for a rest. When they get the sleep they need they’re good as new and back to their normal self.
Not getting the right amount of sleep occasionally happens to pretty much every human on the planet I assume, especially in little ones when the slightest thing can throw them off (hello, Daylight Savings Time and evening visits from Grandma).
However, if kids are consistently not getting enough sleep in their early years, there can be big consequences.
A recent study has found that kids ages 3 to 7 who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to have problems with attention, emotional control and peer relationships in mid-childhood. This leads to behavior related problems, memory and problem solving.
The effects of missing out on sleep is detrimental years after. Isn’t that incredible?
The study explains that this is not about infant sleep, thank goodness, but is about the sleep our kids get in the preschool and early school-age years. So what do we do?
For starters, how do I know if my child is getting enough sleep?
Here is a great infographic from The Academy of Sleep Medicine showing exactly how much sleep everyone from babies to adults needs each night. Here is a quick recap:
- 4-12 months: 12-16 hours including naps
- 1-2 years: 11-14 hours including naps
- 3-5 years: 10-13 hours including naps
- 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
Helping our kids get the appropriate amount of sleep as consistently as we can will really have huge benefits for them later on.
What if I have a hard time getting my kids to go to sleep at night?
I have several great tips for helping kids get to sleep at night that I feel really work great. Here is my previous article, 10 Tips For A More Peaceful Bedtime. These ideas are incredibly simple to put into place but have a huge impact. Helping them unwind and prepare for bedtime is absolutely crucial.
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If you need help getting your baby to sleep my friend Rachel just created an amazing new baby sleep course. It’s called Coos to Snooze and it’s really fantastic. By putting these key habits into place your baby WILL sleep. If you try it for 30 days and they don’t? You get your money back! This might be the best $49 you’ve ever spent.