Volume 1, Issue Four – December 2011

Our Board:

Mary Lee Batesko, PhD
Debra Ingrando-DeEntremont
George Lemery – Vice President
Joyce Reilly
Russ Rudish – President
Paul Speziale., Esq. – Secretary
Mariola Strahlberg – Ex. Director

Newsletter editors: Mariola Strahlberg and Randee Baum

 

Wisdom for Parents from Janusz Korczak
“There are many terrible things in this world, but the worst is when a child is afraid of his father, mother, or teacher. He fears them, instead of loving and trusting them.
If a child trusts you with his secret, be grateful. For his confidence is the highest prize”.

Newsletters

Volume 2, Issue Two – May 2012

Volume 2, Issue One – February 2012

Volume 1, Issue Four – December 2011

Volume 1, Issue Three – September 2011

Volume 1 Issue Two August 2011

Volume1, Issue One - May 2011

Tips and Tools for you and your child
Part 3 – Quantity and Quality of Sleep

In the Basic Tips #1, I mentioned sleep and how to move back going to sleep to the appropriate time. Why is sleep so important? What is the adequate amount of sleep? What about the quality of sleep?

Many organizations, including the National Sleep Foundation, point out a disturbing fact that our children do not get enough sleep. If you pay close attention, you will notice that besides more frequent colds and other illnesses, children will complain of stomach aches, will be more anxious or depressed and have more meltdowns. This also carries into the classroom where there is less concentration and more irritability. This is true for the very young child as well as the teenager.

Why is good sleep so important? Did you notice what happens during the summer? It is during the summer, when children spend lots of time outdoors, doing physical activities versus academic activities, that they grow the most and their physical body changes most noticeably. During the school year, when they get sick and stay home for a few days, relaxing, sleeping and eating nutritious foods, we observe similar changes. During the academic year, when the child is on a tight schedule with school, homework and extra-curriculum activities, the only time they can truly relax is at night. If at night they do not get enough good quality sleep, their body and mind will not function well.

How much sleep do children need?

The amount of sleep varies with the seasons. When the sun is strong and the days are long, children require less sleep than during the shorter days and weaker sun.

Average sleep requirements:

  • Up to 3 years old: 13 hours of nightly sleep
  • 3 to 7 years old: 12 hours of nightly sleep
  • 7 to 10 years old: 11 hours of nightly sleep
  • 10 to 14 years old: 10 hours of nightly sleep
  • 15 to 24 years old: 9 hours of nightly sleep.

Children tend to sleep longer at times of rapid growth and illness.

If a child needs much more or much less sleep than average, they may have an internal imbalance even though a disease has not yet developed and preventive care is recommended.

How can parents help children develop healthy sleeping habits?

First, help the children go to sleep on time to get enough good quality sleep during the night. See my notes in Basic Tips #1 for moving the going to sleep time back.

Consistent going to bed times are important since consistent daily rhythm helps the child become more disciplined both outwardly as well as inwardly. Children usually thrive on a degree of order in their lives, provided the rules are relaxed during special occasions.

Second: transition between daily activities and sleep are very important. Homework (even the boring and long one), electronics and any stimulating activities need to end at least 30 minutes before sleep. We need to institute “quiet time” or “transition time” between daily activities and bedtime. This point requires reevaluating the amount of homework and extracurricular activities. It often requires cutting out some of the activities in order to prevent “kids burnout”.

Third: the child’s room needs to be aired out daily (even if it is for only 10 minutes in the morning or evening), cleaned and straightened up. All the electronic devices, including TV, computer, cell phone, Internet, ipod, need to be shut down and located a minimum of 6 feet away from the child’s head.

And remember, adequate, restful sleep is not just for kids!

If you have any questions related to sleep or any other challenges, please do not hesitate to discuss the best way to address the issue. Also, come on Tuesdays to the ongoing Parent Support Group from 9:00 am to 10:00am to discuss and reflect on topics that are important to you. Peace, Mariola