How much should children sleep?

Sleep education is fundamental from an early age, the lack of sleep in fact predisposes to some important diseases that arise in adults such as obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disorders.

The Italian Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (SIPPS) carried out a survey on habits between the ages of 1 and 14. The results of this project, called “We Like to Dream,” showed that only 68.4 percent of children sleep adequately.

How much should babies sleep?

The recommended hours of sleep vary according to the age of the child.

  • Up to 12 months babies need to sleep 14-18 hours between day and night
  • From 1 to 6 years (preschool): children should sleep 12-14 hours within 24 hours per day
  • Primary school children (6 to 10 years old): they should sleep 10-12 hours a day

Children who sleep little are at risk of childhood obesity.

Studies show that for every extra hour of sleep the risk of overweight and obesity is reduced by an average of 9%. To prevent obesity and all the diseases that follow, it is not only the hours of sleep that are important but also the regularity of the same.

Tips for proper sleep according to SIPPS pediatricians

  1. The bedroom must be quiet, quiet and poorly lit and the temperature must be comfortable (around 20 ° C);
  2. It is necessary to help the child to associate the bed with sleep avoiding, if possible, to make him fall asleep in his arms or in other places and then put him in the cot;
  3. Try to establish a ritual for falling asleep, for example singing a lullaby or reading a fairy tale;
  4. Avoid letting children play video games, computers, tablets or watching television just before going to bed.
  5. Dine at least two hours before bedtime because digestion does not help sleep;
  6. Try to always keep the same morning wake-up and bedtime in the evening, avoiding giving in to the temptation to move them for more than an hour on the weekend;
  7. If the child wakes up it is good to go to his bedroom, reassure him quickly and then get out or at least get him out of bed and engage him in bland activities for about ten minutes, such as reading him a book.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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