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Sleep Awareness Week

April 26, 2017 11:33 am

Sleep Awareness Week is here! The National Sleep Foundation spends a week from April 23rd-29th to educate people on how important sleep is in both adults and children. Parents typically have many questions about their child’s sleep habits. We put together some FAQ’s regarding kids and sleeping in honor of Sleep Awareness Week.

How much sleep should my child get?

The Sleep Foundation gives this basic guideline:

Toddlers 1-2 years11-14 hours (+/- 2 hours is appropriate)
Preschoolers 3-5 years10-13 hours (+/- 2 hours is appropriate)
School aged children 6-13 years9-11 hours (+/- 1 hour is appropriate)
Teenagers 14-17 years8-10 hours (+/- 1 hour is appropriate)

sleep awareness weekHow do I transition the amount of naps my toddler has?

Infants and young toddlers typically have 2 naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Eventually, between the ages of 1-2, it’s appropriate to switch to one nap in the early afternoon, or around lunch time. You’ll know when the time is right when the normal nap schedule is starting to be an issue, with your child not sleeping through all of one of their naps, or it gets more difficult for them to fall asleep. Most children tend to resist the afternoon nap.

Parents often find it difficult to make this switch. One of the best strategies is to gradually push back the morning nap 15 minutes each day until it hits around 12:30 or 1 pm. Then phase out the afternoon nap entirely. It’s important to be patient and not rush the transition. You can also think about giving them an earlier bed time to help as well.

How do I establish a good sleep routine?

  • Make sure there is some “quiet time” leading up to bed time.
  • Have them start a quiet activity at the same time before bed each night.
  • Have them lay down some time before actually going to sleep; read to them or stay in their room and talk to them for a little while.
  • Make sure your child is comfortable
  • Don’t let them sleep in your bed

How do I know if my kid has a sleep problem like sleep apnea?

Usually the first sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring. However, many children experience snoring. In fact, approximately 10-20% experience snoring and many don’t have obstructive sleep apnea. Children can show signs of sleep apnea during the day as well. Mainly, if they have a hard time waking up, are tired during the day, have difficult to control behaviors, or problems with focus and attention, it may be a sign of sleep apnea.

You can read more about pediatric sleep apnea here.

To follow more on Sleep Awareness Week, follow the National Sleep Foundation on Facebook and Twitter with the #SleepBetterFeelBetter

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