For Parents - Health Nurse

We are fortunate to have Felicity Lukins as our Community Health Nurse. She visits the school on a regular basis and is always available if you have any questions or issues regarding your children's health.
Contact details:
phone: 9777 0400

Here is some more information on sleep and how to promote healthy sleep routines.

Getting to sleep

Most children fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. How long it takes to get to sleep can depend on how sleepy your body is. Some bedtime routines help your body get ready for sleep before bed. They can also help your body fall asleep more easily.

Staying asleep

During the night, our bodies cycle between light sleep (The first stage of quiet or non align=right>REM sleep, from which we can be easily woken) and deep sleep (The third and fourth stages of quiet or non align=right>REM sleep, in which we sleep heavily, feeling drowsy if we are woken). We wake up briefly after periods of light sleep, roll over in bed and probably don’t even notice. To stay asleep, we need to fall asleep soon after these brief waking episodes.

Establish routines

- Keep regular sleep and wake times  align=right> Encourage children to go to bed and get up around the same time every day. Keep wake align=right>up times on school days and weekends to within two hours of each other.

- Avoid daytime naps for older children  align=right> Daytime naps longer than 20 minutes can make it harder for children over five to get to sleep at night, to get into deep sleep, and to wake up in the morning.

- Relax before bed  align=right> Encourage your children to relax before bedtime. A regular bedtime routine of bath, story and bed help younger children feel ready for sleep. Older children might like to wind down by reading a book or listening to gentle music. No screen time at least an hour before bedtime is recommended to help the brainwaves calm.

Check your child’s sleep environment

- Make sure your child feels safe at night  align=right> If children feel scared about going to bed or being in the dark, avoid scary TV shows, movies, computer games or books. 

- Some children with bedtime fears feel better when they have a night light or a personal alarm under their pillows.

- Check noise and light in your child’s bedroom  align=right> A dark, quiet, private space is important for a good sleep. Check whether your child’s bedroom is too light or noisy.

Encourage good health and nutrition

- Eat the right amount at the right time  align=right> Make sure children have a satisfying evening meal at a reasonable time. Feeling hungry or too full before bed can make the body more alert or uncomfortable. This can make it harder to get to sleep.

- Get plenty of natural light in the day  align=right> Encourage children to get as much natural light as possible during the day, especially in the morning. This will help the body produce melatonin at the right time in their sleep cycle. A healthy breakfast also helps to kick align=right>start the body clock.

- Avoid caffeine  align=right> Encourage children to avoid caffeine – i.e. energy drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate and coke or avoid offering them in the late afternoon and evening.

- Do some exercise  align=right> Physical activity and exercise help children aged 2 align=right>15 years to sleep longer. It’s not a good idea to play sport or be active late at night, though. The stimulation and increase in body temperature can make it harder to go to sleep.

Other ideas

If worries and anxieties affect your child’s sleep, you could work on the problem together during the day. You could talk about it with your child or he could try writing anxious thoughts in a journal. It’s always a good idea to praise your child when you notice she’s trying to make changes to sleep patterns or is trying out a new routine.

Adapted from Raising Children Network: http://raisingchildren.net.au

For any questions or queries regarding any health issues please don’t hesitate to contact me by leaving a message at the front office or alternatively phone: 9777 0400 or email: felicity.lukins@heatlh.wa.gov.au

Take Care
Felicity Lukins
COMMUNITY HEALTH NURSE

203.34.122.153