Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Art and Science of Sleep for Kids: What You Can Do

Create a sleep-friendly space.

For smart sleeping habits, the most important issue is to keep screen entertainment (TV, DVD, video games, etc.) out of children’s bedrooms.

Make the room as conducive to quiet sleep as possible. Dark and comfortable are the keys, without too much clutter on the bed (a few stuffed animals, not an entire zoo).

Get into a relaxing, regular bedtime routine.

Smart parents know that a bedtime routine - at the about the same time each night - is the best way to get children settled down and ready to sleep through the night.

A warm bath, reading a story, and cuddling with a favorite toy are soothing ways to let children know that it is time for sleep. Keep lights low and music gentle before bed.

Avoid all caffeine for children.

Caffeine is a strong stimulant - increasing alertness and disrupting deep sleep. A recent study confirmed that the more caffeine children consumed, the less they slept.

Soft drinks and bottled teas that contain caffeine are not appropriate for children. To see the caffeine content of beverages, go to

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