Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kids Need Their Zzzzzs!

Sleep is so important for our children, both mentally and physically.  A good night’s sleep helps improve our mental alertness and just makes us feel better! The amount of sleep that each child needs varies, but a good rule of thumb is:  1-3 years old need 12-14 hours, 3-5 years old need 11-13 hours, 5-12 years old need 10-11 hours and teens need 9-10 hours per night. 
To ensure that your child has an easy time falling asleep and gets a restful sleep, try the following:
·         Reduce Stimuli prior to bedtime-limit the noise, dim the lights, avoid television, computers and video games
·         Linear movement, like rocking, is calming.  Avoid spinning or excessive movement at least an hour prior to bedtime
·         For infants- put your child down when he or she is drowsy, not asleep
·         Avoid caffeine and sugar
·         Maintain a consistent bedtime routine- bath, books, bed
·         Scented bath products with lavender may be helpful
·         Give your child a massage using firm, deep pressure-ask your therapist to show you massage techniques
·         For children who startle easily, consider using white noise
·         Try using a heavy blanket such as a quilt or one made of chenille
·         Ask your occupational therapist about the possibility of using a weighted blanket
Michelle Yoder, OTR/L

No comments:

Post a Comment