Children's health and behavior take a nose dive when their sleep habits are out of whack. Adequate sleep will boost your child's energy and enthusiasm. Good-quality sleep also can help your child learn more easily and reduce many behavioral problems.

How Much Is Enough?

Generally, between the ages of 6 and 9, most children need about 10 hours of sleep a night, while preteens need a little over 9 hours. Your child may require more sleep if he or she:

  • Has a short attention span, or is irritable or restless
  • Has unusually low energy and activity levels
  • Is more tearful, anxious, defensive or impatient than usual

Sleep Tips for Your Children

  • Set a regular time for bed each night and stick to it
  • Avoid feeding children big meals close to bedtime
  • Avoid giving anything with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime
  • Make after-dinner playtime a relaxing time
  • Establish a calming bedtime routine