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Are you getting enough sleep? How about your kids?

During the summer, when there are extra hours of daylight, it’s easy to get out of routine and stay up late. But both kids and adults need to have enough sleep to feel great and stay alert at school, behind the wheel and on the job.

How much sleep do you need? The amount of sleep you need each day will change over the course of your life and can be different for each person, experts say.

Here’s how much sleep is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.

Newborns (0-3 months): 14 to 17 hours a day

Infant (4-11 months) 12 to 15 hours a day

Toddler (1-2 years) 11 to 14 hours a day

Preschool (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours a day

School-age (6-13 years): 9 to 11 hours a day

Teens (14-17 years): 8 to 10 hours a day

Adults (18-64 years): 7 to 9 hours a day

Older adults (65+ years): 7 to 8 hours a day

Sound impossible? Here are some tips to winding down for bed so your family can get your zzzz’s!

Create a bedtime routine: Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, even on weekends.

Keep the bedroom quiet and dark and not too hot or too cool. 

Take the TV and computers out of the bedroom. Limit watching TV, playing video games and using electronic screens, such as cell phones and computers, before bedtime.

Don’t eat a big meal or heavy foods before bed. The National Sleep Foundation recommends skipping anything with caffeine, such as soda or coffee, within six hours before bedtime.

Start your child’s bedtime routine with a quiet time to help him relax, get sleepy and nod off. Try calming activities such as a bath and a bedtime story (not one with an exciting plot!) or reading time for older children.

Take the
National Sleep Foundation Sleepiness Test to find out if you are more or less sleepy than the general population. They suggest that if you rate “very sleepy” on this test, you should speak to your doctor.

For back to school, experts suggest starting about
two weeks ahead of time to get your child back on a sleep schedule. Each night, tuck them in a little earlier and wake them up slightly earlier. Do this until their bedtime and wake-up time is the same as during the school year.

Sources: National Sleep Foundation, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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