Did you know? Children who don’t get enough sleep may be at increased risk of becoming overweight.
Remember the younger your child is the more sleep they need.
As parents, we’re very aware of the health risks for our children from everyday habits like too many “treat” foods, too many sugary drinks or not being active enough. But did you know that sleep is also important for children’s health?
Children need sleep to help them grow and develop healthily – not getting enough can be another factor in them becoming overweight as they get older. Also, too much screen time – whether on TV, games consoles, smartphones or tablets is also impacting on children’s sleep patterns and length of sleep.
Having a regular bedtime routine for your children can be difficult, especially if you’re busy with your own work, household chores, their homework and everything else that parents have to deal with. But it’s so important to have a regular routine at bedtime and it can really help improve their sleep.
Figure out a bedtime routine that suits you and your child and try to stick to it – it helps our body clocks develop into their natural, regular rhythm.
Here are some other tips to help you set a good bedtime routine:
- Create a regular bedtime routine to help children get the right amount of sleep.
- Encourage children to be active during the day and in the evenings to tire them out.
- Avoid big meals 1 – 2 hours before bedtime. Try to have your main meals two hours before bedtime – some active kids may need a small snack before bed-time.
- Create a sleep-friendly environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool.
- Having wind-down time (at least 40 minutes) is really important in getting ready for bed, as it helps you all to relax in the evening, so plan ahead. Avoid physical activity during this time.
- A warm bath can help relax children and help them get ready for rest.
- Keep your child’s bedroom a TV-free zone and get them to keep their phones and other devices elsewhere.
- Also make bedrooms a tech-free zone.
- For younger children, read a story with them or listen to some gentle music, for older children, read a book or magazine.
- The recommended hours of sleep per night are:
- 11+ hours for under 5 year olds
- 10+ hours for over 5 year olds
- 9+ hours for over 10 year olds
Provided by Safefood www.safefood.eu
The principal focus of Safefood’s food safety programmes is to inform and empower individuals with the knowledge and incentive to positively influence food safety behaviour. Safefood promotes awareness and knowledge of food safety and nutrition issues in Ireland.
To visit Safefood “Let’s take on Childhood Obesity” Section click here