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How to get your kids into a healthy sleep routine

Man waking young girl in bed smiling
Posted at 6:58 AM, Jan 01, 2021

Are you having trouble sleeping these days? You might not be alone. Between remote learning and pandemic-related stress, it’s possible your children are experiencing sleep difficulties, too! Consumer Reports has some ideas that could help your kids sleep better during these uncertain times.

According to the journal Pediatrics, sleep-deprived children are at risk of gaining weight and developing type 2 diabetes.

Getting enough sleep is important. Along with exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, it can help kids manage stress and reduce anxiety, and may help them maintain a strong immune system, which is really important right now!

Consumer Reports says a key to good sleep is the same for kids and adults. Set a sleep routine, which means going to bed and getting up at about the same time each day. That helps the body get used to a fixed sleep schedule.

And during the day, get outside! Regular physical activity has been linked to sounder sleep at night. It can boost the effect of sleep hormones like melatonin, especially if it’s done in bright daylight in the morning!

And limit nighttime screen time, because computers, tablets, cell phones, and gaming systems can all adversely affect sleep. Blue light from screens can slow the production of your natural sleep hormones. A simple solution is to dim the lights and snuggle up with a good book.

And remember that the pandemic may be having a big impact on the emotional and social development of your children, and it’s another factor that can affect their quality of sleep. You should reach out to your pediatrician with any questions and concerns.