Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Not a Creature Was Stirring (Yeah. Right.)

Tis the season for friends, family and celebration... if you're an adult.

If you're a kid, it's more like the season of  uncomfortable holiday outfits, long car rides and seemingly endless family gatherings full of strange looking foods and even stranger looking people.

Compound these disruptions in routine with the decided lack of sleep that kids - much like the rest of us - experience around the holidays, it seems unfair to blame them for their inevitable meltdown, doesn't it?

The holidays are hard enough for kids. Ensuring children get the recommended amount of sleep year-round can go a long way toward ensuring a healthy, happy holiday for the whole family.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF)  recommends the following:
  • 11-13 hours of sleep for preschoolers age 3-5
  • 10-11 hours of sleep for 5 to 12 year olds
  • 9 hours or more for teens

To help kids get ready to snooze, Carol Ash, D.O., Director of Sleep Medicine at Meridian Health, offers up the following tips:
  • Make sure the room is quiet, dark, cool, and uncluttered.
    Bold colors and flashy décor might be a great fashion statement but you want a serene sanctuary.
  • Remove all electronics from the room. 
    Electronic devices are designed to keep the brain engaged, making it more difficult to get to sleep at night. In addition, the light emitted from these devices limits the body’s release of melatonin, which helps us transition into our nighttime sleep cycle.
  • Establish a nighttime reading routine.
    NSF has found that children who read as part of their bedtime routine are more likely to get healthy amounts of sleep.


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