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How To Promote Quality Sleep

Did you know?

Our Early Years getting enough good-quality sleep can mean good concentration, better moods and faster development. Alternatively, low-quality or not enough sleep can result in attention difficulties, memory problems and behavioural issues. Therefore, it is vital we enable children to get the best rest possible while in our settings.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, these are the optimal sleep requirements for Early Years, including naps:

  • 4 to 12 months: 12–16 hours of sleep
  • 1 to 2 years: 11–14 hours
  • 3 to 5 years: 10–13 hours
Photo by Gustavo Cultivo on Unsplash
  1. Make sure there is a cool and quiet resting area for babies and children to sleep. Between 16-20°C is best.
  2. Recreate, as much as possible, children’s home sleep routines. Giving familiarity through routine or a favourite toy or blanket helps little ones relax.
  3. Make a record of any naps to make sure children are getting enough rest, and in order to identify any changes that could signify issues such as illness.
  4. Explore the idea of sleep by talking to children about their bedtime routines at home, or the layout of their own bedrooms. Help children to think about why sleep is important and consider how they feel before and after a good nap. A role play area with a mock bedroom is a fun way for children to explore the bedtime routine, e.g. pretend brushing teeth, reading a story and tucking a toy into bed.
  5. Ensure babies are always placed on their back at the bottom of a cot clear of toys with secured bedding. For more information about safe sleeping positions, visit The Lullaby Trust.

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