A recent long-term study found that toddlers who slept less than 10 hours per night or had many night-time wake ups tended to have more emotional and behavioral problems at age 5. Another popular study found that 69% of children suffer from one or more sleep problems a few nights per week. Typical sleep requirements for children are as follows: newborns should be getting 16-18 hours, children aged 2-10 should get up to 10 hours and adolescents need 8-9 hours of sleep.
Strategies for Promoting Healthy Sleep Behavior:
- Establish a nighttime routine
Start a bedtime ritual that can be done every night. For example: Healthy snack, bath, story-time, tuck-in, and final goodnight
- Restrict electronics at least an hour before bed
Make sure to fill your child’s nighttime routine with activities that are equally as fun as screen time
- Put your child to bed while he is still awake, but drowsy
It’s important that your child knows that sleep is something that is done alone. If he goes to sleep surrounded by loved ones and wakes up alone, he will feel scared and lonely. Knowing how to fall asleep alone is a skill that needs to be taught and could involve the next strategy
- Graduated Ignoring
A gradual fading out of your presence is sometimes necessary for teaching a child how to fall asleep. This may begin with you being present through the night and over time, results in the complete removal of parent presence after the final goodnight
- The Nighttime Pass
This involves allowing your child to visit you a specified number of times per night for a specified amount of time. The number of visits allowed is faded over time.
Kristin Harris is the Director of Behavioral Services for Achieve Beyond, Inc. and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Achieve Beyond offers quality ABA services for children with a range of behavioral needs, specifically children with Autism. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Service to: Essex, Hudson, Somerset, Union and Middlesex Counties
Phone: (732) 204-1635
Fax: (732) 204-1636
Achieve Beyond Inc. provides ABA therapy to help each child reach their full potential through education, therapy, and family support services. Services are provided throughout the state. We offer initial screenings, parent or school consultations, and comprehensive evaluations services to infants and children on the autism spectrum. Our professional and licensed staff is committed to serve children with the highest quality standards. Professional development and excellence in service delivery is promoted through ongoing staff mentoring, professional collaboration and participation in continuing education. Services are provided in the home, or community settings. We provide treatment and evaluations through Insurance Companies and Private Payment options.