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About Sleep

As a pediatrician and mother I spend a great deal of time discussing sleep issues with both my patients and my own children. Why is it that parents think they can never get enough sleep and children don't seem to think they need to sleep, at least when we would like them too.<br mce_bogus="1">
As a pediatrician and mother I spend a great deal of time discussing sleep issues with both my patients and my own children. Why is it that parents think they can never get enough sleep and children don't seem to think they need to sleep, at least when we would like them too.

Although a new baby doesn't really have a sleep schedule and is not yet sleeping through the night, good sleep habits need to begin at a young age. Starting a bedtime routine is appropriate for all ages and having your child get enough sleep will lead to both happier children and parents.

While toddlers and preschoolers require from 11- 13 hours of sleep, school aged children need 10 - 11 hours and teens should be getting 8 -10 hours of sleep per night. 

There has been a great deal of research to show that a good night's sleep is important to both a child's physical and emotional health. Children who are well rested have fewer behavioral issues, perform better in school and report less problems with focus and attention.   Did you know that well rested children are less likely to be obese?  Teens who get enough sleep also report less depression and anxiety and are less likely to drink and smoke participate in other risk taking behaviors.

Start your children off on the right path to a good night's sleep by having a set bed time with a routine. Read to your child or with your child every night before bed. Do not have a TV in your child's bedroom.  Have your teens turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime. All of these habits will help your child get a good night's sleep and waking up feeling well rested.

Sleep is one of the best medicines a pediatrician can prescribe!
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