Sleeping Routines for Preschoolers – by Arely Angel

Story time before bed can help kids wind down and encourage a lifelong interest in reading
Story time before bed can help kids wind down and encourage a lifelong interest in reading

When a child is tired and sleepy, they’re not ready to learn. When a child is not well-rested, it’s very difficult for them to pay attention in class, and they usually become upset and irritable. It’s essential for children to get a certain amount of interrupted sleep. These longer sleep periods help their bodies and minds rest and recharge.

It’s important to have a routine for your child, and it’s up to you to make sure it’s followed every night. Having a warm bath, playing quiet music, and reading a bedtime story are perfect examples of bedtime routines that are easy to follow. During the day, children tend to be excited and energetic, and it may be difficult to wind them down by having them watch TV or play with electronics. Having a calm and simple bedtime routine will ensure your children get the sleep they need.

In the classroom, it’s very easy to see when a child is tired. They usually become irritable and unwilling to listen, and sometimes the lack of sleep turns into tears, tantrums, and poor behavior. Sleep is essential for children, and as parents, we need to be certain that our children are well rested and ready to learn. According to healthychildren.org, children ages 3-5 require a minimum of 10-13 hours of sleep, including naps.

Here are some recommendations to make sleeping routines easier to follow at home:

  • Make sufficient sleep time for the entire family a priority
  • Keep regular sleeping schedules
  • Be active during the day
  • Monitor screen/electronic time
  • Create a sleep-supportive bedroom and home environment
  • Realize that your preschool child has different sleeping needs than you and your older children

A well-rested child is more likely to be ready to attend school and learn. Following these key points will help you prepare your children for school.

Arely Angel is the Lead Preschool Teacher for the City of Manassas Park, Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703-335-8872 or via email at a.angel@manassasparkva.gov.

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