Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Enough Sleep?

Are your children getting enough sleep? I saw this article on Today, with recommendations from the sleep guru, Dr. Weissbluth. Very good approach to recognize how much sleep your children actually need.

"Watch your childThe best way for parents to determine if a child is getting enough sleep is to "watch your child, and not the clock," said Dr. Marc Weissbluth, an expert on childhood sleep problems and a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
In his book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" (Ballantine Books, 1999), Weissbluth does not offer sleep recommendations, but instead tells parents to observe certain signs and symptoms.
Look at a child's mood, personality and performance near the end of the day, he advised. If your child is under age 3 and napping, look at them between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.; for a child age 3 or older, look between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Is your child sweet, adaptable and well-functioning, or short-fused, clingy and irritable? This can tell parents whether a child is well-rested or overtired, and whether naps or bedtimes need to be adjusted, Weissbluth said. 
Weissbluth said that even though there might be an absence of evidence about exactly how much sleep children need this shouldn't leave parents with the impression that kids are getting enough shuteye.
Rather than focusing solely on the number of hours a child sleeps each night, he advises parents to focus on how a child appears near the end of the day, and when sleep is occurring. "
Source: Today

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