10 Child Sleep Commandments for World Sleep Day
The World Sleep Society has declared the following 10 child sleep commandments for World Sleep Day 2020. World Sleep Day happens every year and this year it takes place on Friday 13th March. While I could have written something myself, today I’d rather you didn’t just take my word for it. Let’s see what the world has to say about sleep.
These child sleep commandments apply to children from birth to 12 years, which luckily happens to be the ages I work with on my child sleep page! Fancy that!
WHY DO WE NEED SLEEP COMMANDMENTS FOR CHILDREN?
Quite simply, sleep is one of the most important contributors to your child’s physical and mental health. It is a REALLY important part of the picture. Good sleep habits, sleep hygiene, or “sleep health” are alternative terms often used to describe sleep promoting practices.
The explanation as to why healthy sleep practices promote sleep is likely to be, at least in part, that they work by improving the regulation of sleep, either by reinforcing the body’s natural circadian rhythms (ie the body clock regulated by the timing of light and darkness), or by increasing the drive to sleep (sleep pressure). Other sleep practices help us to associate certain activities (like a bedtime routine) and environments (ie, the bedroom) with sleep. Healthy sleep behaviors also promote sleep by reducing factors in the environment which are stimulating (like caffeine) and increasing relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Finally, good sleep practices include providing an adequate opportunity for sleep based on age and individual sleep needs and an environment that is conducive to good sleep quality and safety (whew, did you catch all that?! – their words not mine lol).
THE 10 SLEEP COMMANDMENTS FOR CHILDREN
1. Make sure your child gets enough sleep by setting an age-appropriate bedtime (preferably before 9:00 pm or 21:00 hours) and wake time*.
2. Keep a consistent bedtime and wake time on weekdays and weekends.
3. Establish a consistent bedtime routine and recommend wearing comfortable clothes in bed, including strong absorbing diapers for infants.
4. Encourage your child to fall asleep independently.
5. Avoid bright lights at bedtime and during the night and increase light exposure in the morning.
6. Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the bedroom and limit use of electronics before bedtime.
7. Maintain a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes.
8. Have an age-appropriate nap schedule.
9. Ensure plenty of exercise and time spent outdoors during the day.
10. Eliminate foods and beverages containing caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and tea.
How many child sleep commandments are you following? I’d love to know below!
And if you have a child who is finding sleep elusive, please reach out. It doesn’t have to be that way! I offer free sleep mini-evaluation calls to discuss your family’s situation; you can book a call HERE. Not quite ready to make a change yet? find out more via my Facebook page or Instagram. You can also sign up to my monthly newsletter for sleep blogs, tips and giveaways.
* RECOMMENDED SLEEP AMOUNTS (per 24 hours as recommended by the World Sleep Society)
AGE SLEEP NEED
3-12 months —- 14 to 15 hours
1-3 years —- 12 to 14 hours
3-5 years —- 11 to 13 hours
6-12 years —- 10 to 11 hours
12-18 years —- 8.5 to 9.5 hours