Castlemont Elementary School

Message from Principal Eric Brown

The Importance of Sleep Routines for Young Children

Sleeping Child

Lack of sleep isn't just a problem for busy adults. Kids of all ages are not getting an adequate amount of sleep, affecting both their development and behavior. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 25 percent of infants, toddlers and preschoolers are sleepy during the day, and 30 percent of school-aged kids have trouble getting up in the morning. Establishing soothing bedtime routines helps keep young children from becoming part of these statistics.

Bedtime routines play an important role in young kids. These nightly rituals help ease separation anxiety that sometimes occurs in little ones. Certain activities, such as a soothing bath or nightly story, also help children relax for bed. Stimulating activities -- including watching television or playing video games -- aren't effective or wise bedtime routines. In fact, they are detrimental to sleep. Kids with televisions in their rooms go to bed each night about 20 minutes later, according to Laurie Weinreb-Welch, MPH, CHES, a Pennsylvania State University Extension educator. This adds up to more than two hours of lost sleep a week, which is unlikely to be made up.

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