WASHINGTON - Kids need consistent sleep schedules to ensure their ever-changing brains develop correctly. But getting them into a routine is the hard part.
Children between the ages of 5 and 12 need about 10 hours of sleep every day, and 3- and 4-year-olds need 11-13 hours -- including naps.
Wall Street Journal health columnist Sumathi Reddy has a list of ways to get the kids to consistently conk out.
- Avoid computers and electronics in the evening. Keep the bedroom dark and the temperature comfortable.
- Night lights are OK, but the room should be mostly quiet and dark. Reddy advises keeping the temps between 65 and 72 degrees.
- Going to bed should never be a punishment, and staying up late shouldn't be a reward. This sends the wrong message about sleeping habits.
- If a child seems to have problems sleeping, it's important to make sure they don't have a sleep disorder.
- Waking up and going to sleep should be at the same time everyday. And yes, that means weekends and holidays.
- Certain activities can help calm a child at night, like baths or reading a book.
WTOP's Alan Etter and Lacey Mason contributed to this report.
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