Good sleep habits improve children's moods, attention, learning, motivation, and memory. It is also important to develop children's mental and motor skills. Lack of sleep among children and adolescents can trigger negative health consequences. For example, it increases the risk of having type 2 diabetes, anxiety, depression, and problems with the immune system.
Canadian Daily Sleep Guidelines: The Early Years
A healthy 24 hours includes physical activity, sedentary behaviour, healthy eating, and sleep:
NOTE: these times include naps. Toddlers may have 2 naps each day.
TIPS FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN:
- Help your child get a bedtime routine. The routine can include having a bath, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading a book signing a lullaby, etc.
- Avoid putting your child to bed when he/she is already asleep. Going to bed while they are sleepy or still awake helps them to learn how to fall asleep on their own.
- Have a regular bedtime and wake up time. Try to not change it too much on the weekends.
- Have a quiet, dark, and cool bedroom for your child.
- Have your child get daylight exposure by going outside. It can help to create a good sleep routine.
- Avoid large meals or sugary treats before bedtime.
- Help your child get daily physical activity. Physical activity in the daytime promotes good sleep. For more information, see our movement section.
- Turn off the screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime.