Do your children have a short attention span? Are they over- emotional? Do they seem to get frustrated easily? If so, they may be overtired.
According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “Lack of sleep isn’t just an adult problem.” The National Sleep Foundation reports that 25 percent of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are sleepy during the day, and 30 percent of school-aged children have trouble getting up in the morning.
“The average preschooler typically sleeps 11-13 hours each night. Children, ages five to 12, need 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Anything short of this amount could cause your children to have a shortened attention span and difficulty concentrating at school.”
So how can you help your children get the proper amount of sleep they need? Here are some useful tips:
Anderson says the role of a consistent bedtime routine should not be underestimated when it comes to helping children get a good night’s sleep.
“Having a consistent bedtime routine, which includes activities such as taking a bath, reading bedtime stories, and talking through the next day’s schedule, can help calm your children, allow them to feel in control, and get them mentally prepared for sleep. Sleep studies have proven that bedtime routines positively impact how quickly children fall asleep and how soundly they sleep as well.”
Things to Avoid
Anderson says to avoid giving children caffeine or food right before bedtime as this may impact their ability to fall asleep. Likewise, she recommends that you stop physical activities and don't let your child play games or watch television one hour prior to bedtime as it may cause them to be too stimulated and not want to go to sleep.
Anderson also encourages parents to look at their children’s bedrooms to ensure they are conducive to sleep. Bedrooms should be free of televisions and video games, and they should be a peaceful retreat away from the rest of the busy house. They should be free of clutter, welcoming, and relaxing. In addition, Anderson recommends that you make sure that the bedrooms are dark enough, so that your children won’t wake at the crack of dawn, and that the temperature is comfortable.
Ebenezer Child Care Centers will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night entitled “All about Sleep” on Thursday, September 20th, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at its Downtown Milwaukee Center located at 340 West St. Paul Avenue, across from the main post office. Is your child getting enough sleep? Children ages 5 to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep allows children to pay attention better in school, be creative and think of new ideas, fight sickness, be in a good mood, get along with friends and family, and solve problems better. What happens when your children aren’t getting enough sleep? Come to this Family Fun Night to learn “All about Sleep!” Activities will include making styling sleep masks, completing a “snooze clues” crossword puzzle and listening to lullabies. In addition to the activities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on us! Registration is required. Please call 414-643-5070 to register.
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers a variety of free Family Fun Nights and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, in Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at www.ebenezerchildcare.com.