A Good Night
Most parents underestimate the amount of sleep children should get a day. They need:
- Infants: 14 to 15 hours
- Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours
- Preschoolers: 11 to 13 hours
- School-age kids: 10 to 11 hours
- Teenagers: 9 to 10 hours
Source: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This is particulary useful ot know when you are arguing about transitions in a custody case.
Also there is a great article in the WSJ
There are behavioral strategies you can use to get kids on track, say sleep experts, Nancy Collop, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
"Get the technology out of the bedroom. No TV, no cellphone, no computer. You really want it to be the place where they just sleep," Collop says.
Light exposure from screens suppresses the release of melatonin, a hormone linked to circadian rhythms that's released when your brain registers darkness.
Anything lit up is stimulating and delays your ability to fall asleep, Collop says.
Develop a pre-sleep routine with kids — the younger, the better, says Alon Avidan, associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at UCLA. It could include a bath, a book, a light snack (avoid chocolate and caffeinated drinks at least eight hours before bed). "They begin to associate those behaviors with sleep," Avidan says.
After her 11-year-old daughter eats dinner, wraps up homework and takes a shower, Charolottesville, Va., mom Lisa Climer says Addie likes to sit in the living room, eat some crackers and read a book.
"It's been that way since she learned to read on her own," says Climer, who allows the occasional e-mail check, but not if it's nearing Addie's 9 to 9:30 into-bed time frame. Bedtime has slipped this summer, as late as 10:30 or 11, and Climer plans to get stricter as the start of school nears.
Try a subtle transition
Transitioning back to school sleep timetables doesn't have to be painful, though, Avidan says. Don't just start setting bedtime earlier and earlier, get everybody up a little earlier every day, too, he advises.
"Wake kids up half an hour earlier each morning until they're on school time schedule," Avidan says. "In the morning, expose your kids to sunlight — don't let them crawl out of bed and into a dark den for another hour. Get up, have breakfast."