Parents play an important role in helping their children develop healthy sleep habits. Children who get enough sleep are more ready to learn, play, and manage their emotions both at home and at school. A routine where children go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning helps them to get the rest they need.
How much sleep should a child get?
Children aged 3-4 years need 10 to 13 hours every day
Children aged 5-13 years need 9 to 11 hours every day
To learn more about the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines visit the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology website at csepguidelines.ca
Use these tips to help your child get ready to start school and get the sleep they need:
MAKE A BEDTIME ROUTINE
- A bedtime routine starts at the same time every night.
- Have relaxing and calm activities to help your child to slow down as bedtime comes closer.
- Start your child’s bedtime routine 30 to 60 minutes before bed.
- A bedtime routine of bath, story, and bed can help your child feel ready for sleep.
- Do the bedtime routine steps in the same order every night.
MAKE A RESTFUL SLEEP SPACE
- Dim the lights in the house one hour before bedtime.
- Turn off all screens one hour before bedtime and remove them from the bedroom.
- Keep the bedroom cool, quiet, and dark.
- Teach your child that the bed is for sleep only. When the bed is used for sleep only, it is easier to relax and fall asleep at night.
- It helps not to have a large meal before bedtime. If your child is hungry, have a small snack.
- Physical activity during the day can help children to fall asleep more easily. Avoid high energy activities 2 hours before bed.
- Avoid food and drinks with caffeine (pop and chocolate) at least 6 hours before bed.
If you are worried about your child’s sleep, speak with your healthcare provider.