Simple steps to consistently conk out the kids

Getting enough sleep is integral to a child\'s development - even on the weekends. (AP)

WASHINGTON – Kids need consistent sleep schedules to ensure their ever-changing brains develop correctly. But getting them into a routine is the hard part.

Children between the ages of 5 and 12 need about 10 hours of sleep every day, and 3- and 4-year-olds need 11-13 hours — including naps.

Wall Street Journal health columnist Sumathi Reddy has a list of ways to get the kids to consistently conk out.

  1. Avoid computers and electronics in the evening. Keep the bedroom dark and the temperature comfortable.
  2. Night lights are OK, but the room should be mostly quiet and dark. Reddy advises keeping the temps between 65 and 72 degrees.
  3. Going to bed should never be a punishment, and staying up late shouldn’t be a reward. This sends the wrong message about sleeping habits.
  4. If a child seems to have problems sleeping, it’s important to make sure they don’t have a sleep disorder.
  5. Waking up and going to sleep should be at the same time everyday. And yes, that means weekends and holidays.
  6. Certain activities can help calm a child at night, like baths or reading a book.

WTOP’s Alan Etter and Lacey Mason contributed to this report.

Follow @LaceyWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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