Hey, Sleepyhead

7 tips for a good night's rest
Author: Kadesha Thomas Smith

When your mom’s cellphone battery runs down, she charges it. And that’s what sleep does for us, too! A good night’s sleep gives your body rest and stores up energy for the next day.

But many of us are not getting enough sleep to fully recharge. Kids ages 5 to 12 years old need about 10–11 hours of sleep each night. So if you need to wake up by 7 a.m. in time for school, you’ll want to hit the sack by 8 or 9 p.m.

It may be fun to stay up late watching TV or playing games, but if you don’t rest, you may get sick more and miss play time with friends! Not getting enough sleep can lead to more colds, flu and stomachaches. That means missing school and being stuck inside the house.

Sleep also helps you get better after an illness, injury or surgery. That’s why rest is so important if you’ve had a bleed. Sleep lets your body focus on fixing itself.

You know you’re not getting enough sleep if you:

  • Feel sleepy after you wake up.
  • Sleep late on weekends and days when you don’t have school.
  • Get tired during the day and wish you could take a nap.

Here are seven tips to get a good night’s sleep:

  1. Get moving! All that time on the playground and playing with friends can help you sleep longer at night.
  2. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  3. Don’t play with video games or a cellphone after you get in bed. It’s tough for your body to wind down afterward.
  4. Ask Mom or Dad to read a book with you every night. Having a routine like this helps your body know it’s time for bed.
  5. Don’t eat big meals right before bedtime. Try having a warm glass of milk or a healthy snack instead.
  6. Don’t drink sugary sodas, especially in the afternoon or night. Many sodas contain caffeine, which can keep you up and make you jittery.
  7. Ask your parents to help make your bedroom feel cozy. A cool, dark and quiet bedroom helps you fall asleep.

With this advice in mind, you’re on your way to getting a great night’s sleep—every night!