In the October 2015 Adventist Review cover story, author Wes Youngberg, who is a doctor, writes that children under the age of 10 need about 10 hours of sleep a day. He says that this is an area in which society is really missing an opportunity to dramatically affect children’s health in a positive way.
Young people between 12 and 21 years of age require about nine hours of sleep per day. Yet how many children and teenagers are getting adequate sleep? In this age group sufficient sleep is important for brain development. It strengthens the immune system and contributes to good social behavior. A proper night’s sleep can also help keep people, young and old, at a healthy weight.
Staying up late may seem fun but it is important that children don’t make a habit of it. There is a lot of truth in the old saying: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
But what should a person do if they have difficulty falling asleep at night? In the same Adventist Review, KidsView editor Wilona Karimabadi writes this about getting into sleep mode: Before bed, try to establish your own “wind-down” routine. Shut off the TV and computer (and any other electronic devices such as tablets and iPods) and, if you have a phone, turn it over so it faces down on your nightstand (thus eliminating its tempting glow) or leave it in another room. Take a warm shower or bath, do some light stretching, say your prayers, and get comfortable.
One more thing that can help kids get a great night of sleep: refrain from screen time at least half an hour before bedtime (and no going to bed with the TV on in the room!). Research shows that the blue light from TVs and other similar devices can cause sleep time to be shorter.
As you get ready for bed, here is a Bible verse to remember: “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (Proverbs 3:24, NIV).
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