Can I Let My Big Kid Sleep Late on Weekends? How Do We Handle Sleepovers, Late Rehearsals, Endless Homework?
School-aged children and adolescents have a whole new set of sleep challenges. No more rocking a downy little head to sleep... now you may be struggling to stay awake until your child goes to bed.
But even if she doesn't show it, your tween or teen needs your help with sleep structure just as much as ever.
Did you know that adolescents often need more sleep than school-aged children, despite being older, because their bodies are growing and changing so fast?
Unfortunately, at the same time that their sleep needs increase, their body clocks shift later, so that it's harder for them to go to sleep early. And at the same time, they are often hit with the added challenge of an earlier start time for middle or high school. (This is despite the fact that multiple studies have shown that older children perform better academically, are physically healthier, and are less likely to be in car accidents with later start times for school.)
All the reasons you should care about your adolescent getting great sleep are listed below, but in case you are short on time, here's how to get your older child better sleep to feel his or her (or their) best.
If you aren't convinced that sleep is that important to older kids, here are some great statistics, all cited by pediatrician and sleep researcher Dr. Marc Weissbluth in Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child:
Do you need some help setting up new sleep routines for your older child or adolescent? It's never too late to make changes. Set up a free consult and let's get your not-so-big-little-one the sleep they deserve to be their gender-inclusive best.
Abby Wolfson is a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified child sleep consultant and former NICU nurse. She divides her time between Brooklyn, NY and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.