Sleep: how much sleep a child starting junior school needs

Sleep: how much sleep a child starting junior school needs

Junior school studentsFrom the ages of five to 12, the average youngster needs at least eight to 10 hours a night, and some children may need even more than that (five-year-olds can need as much as 12 hours’ sleep, and children aged six to 12 may need up to 10 or 11 hours).

So, if your child wakes up sluggish and having a lie in isn’t an option – because it’s a school day, for example – try moving her bedtime back so she can get an extra hour or so. Here are a few other ways to make sure your little one is getting enough Zzzs:

Create ambience

The quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity, so make sure your child’s bedroom is sleep friendly – that means cool, dark, and comfortable.

Switch off

Research shows kids who have electronic equipment in their rooms have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep, so unplug any TVs, stereos or computers.

Watch the clock

Find the right bedtime for your child and stick to it. The average time for children aged five to 12 is 9 pm, and children who go to bed after this are more likely to have sleep problems because they are overtired.

Remember the three Bs

Research has shown that having a set bedtime routine every night can help a child fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than those who don’t follow a routine. ‘Bath, book and bed’ is always a good one.

Make friends

Use bedtime to put any arguments to bed, too. If you had a row earlier in the evening, for example, acknowledge it and agree to end it at bedtime so you can make a fresh start in the morning.

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