Sleep is a huge issue for kids today. If you want your child to participate in any evening activities you often have to choose between a healthy home cooked meal or going to bed on time. I understand the struggle, “feed them in the car en route, send them to bed hungry, or go to bed late.” I often chose the late bedtime.
Calculate Your Child's Sleep
I find it’s important to calculate how many sleep hour your child is getting every night. How can a child wake up to their bladder signals if they are frequently sleep deprived? The American Acadamy of Pediatrics has detailed recommendations for sleep hours. I tell my patients “a 10-year-old needs 10 hours of sleep and an 18-year-old needs 9 hours of sleep.” My high school patients often roll their eyes and tell me they barely get 7 hours. We are finding that sleep deprivation can be linked to obesity, behavior problems and poor school performance. We are also starting to realize that you can’t “make up” your missed sleep on the weekends.
Develop A Plan
If you have to wake your 11 year old up every morning at 7 am, develop a plan to get them in bed with lights out at 9 pm. Develop a strong bedtime routine.
- Set a consistent wake-up time every morning. (Within 1 hour on either side.)
- Set an alarm 1 hour before bed to signal bedtime is coming and dim lights.
- Thirty minutes before bed NO Electronics.
- Get ready for bed, pee, put on pajamas, and brush teeth.
- Allow 30 minutes to read a book.
- Pee one more time and then go to bed.
This is easier said than done, I know! However, stick to a scheduled routine as much as possible to ensure your child gets adequate sleep.
Parenting is all about difficult decisions. If curing their bedwetting is important to you prioritize these healthy habits. Make your kids leave an ativity or friends house early to get to bed on time. Adequate sleep is a huge benefit to their growing brain and body.