Q: How important is sleep to a preschooler?
A: Sleep is extremely important for everyone, but of greater importance for a preschooler.
Brain development is at an all-time high during the first five years of life and sleep is an essential building block for brain growth and development.
According to Sleep Foundation, “In addition to having a direct effect on happiness, research shows that sleep impacts alertness, attention, cognitive performance, mood, resiliency, vocabulary acquisition, learning and memory.” These are all aspects that impact a child’s preschool experience.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released new daily sleep recommendations for children 3-5 years of age: a whopping 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including naps! Reaching this sleep goal may seem far easier said than done. However, it is possible. Caregivers benefit from these extended rest periods as much as the children.
If sleep is a struggle for preschoolers in your care, or for more simple tips, I highly recommend reviewing the many articles at PBS KIDS Parents. If there are any concerns about your child’s sleep pattern, please speak with your physician.
I used a variety of strategies to ensure my preschoolers rested well. And as a member of the WKAR Radio team heard at 90.5 and online, I’m pleased to say playing classical music at sleep times was one. Perhaps tuning in can usher in sweet sleep for your preschooler also.