Here’s an article in a recent Parade magazine that quotes a recent study in the professional journal Archives of Disease in Childhood. The sy looked at 600 7-year-olds in New Zealand, and found that the average time to fall asleep was about 26 minutes. However, for every hour of inactivity in the day, it took 3 minutes longer. And, for every hour of activity, sleep came more quickly.
This is important to a lot of parents, since the Parade article states that of parents of school-age children report that their kids have trouble falling asleep. Although this article didn’t mention, other factors can be be eating too much sugar or caffeine, too much stimulation from TV or computer monitors, and of course stress in general.
Studies like this aren’t definitive, but parents, you know that exercise and activity is good for kids. So it certainly helps to keep them moving. And while you’re at it, take a look at the number of hours of sleep your child or teen is getting. Chances are high it’s not enough. A good indicator? If your child has trouble getting up in the morning, try moving bedtime up a little. One way to”sell” kids on this idea is to say that bedtime means no TV or music, but that they can read until they fall asleep. Anything that helps our brains quiet down can help sleep come more easily.