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Getting a good night’s sleep is important for both physical and mental wellbeing, it’s no different for children. We all need regular sleeping hours as it programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine. Children need more sleep than most adults who only need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep every night. The amount of sleep children need changes as they get older.
The Millpond Children's Sleep Clinic recommend the following approximate hours of sleep needed by children based on their different ages*.
8 hours 30 minutes
6 to 7 hours
8 to 9 hours
4 to 5 hours
10 to 11 hours
9 - 12 months
2 hours 30 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes
11 hours 30 minutes
0 to 45 minutes
11 hours 30 minutes to 12 hours
11 hours 30 minutes
10 hours 45 minutes
10 hours 30 minutes
10 hours 15 minutes
9 hours 45 minutes
9 hours 30 minutes
12 & 13 years
9 hours 15 minutes
14 - 16 years
A relaxing bedtime routine is one important way to help your child wind down and prepare for bed to ensure a good night's sleep. Doing the same relaxing things in the same order and at the same time each night helps promote good sleep*:
Top Tip: Keep screen time out of the bedroom and encourage your child to stop using screens an hour before bedtime.
Top Tip: Your child's bedroom should ideally be dark, quiet and tidy to create a calm atmosphere for sleeping. Thick curtains can help block out any daylight.
Speak to your GP or Health Visitor if your child keeps having problems getting to sleep or sleeping through the night.
#KnowRaynauds - 1 in 6 people in the UK could have Raynaud’s. Take our simple online test to see if you could be one of them: sruk.co.uk/testme#KnowRaynauds - 1 in 6 people in the UK could have Raynaud’s. Take our simple online test to see if you could be one of them: sruk.co.uk/testme
There are two types of Raynaud’s Phenomenon; primary and secondary.
Primary Raynaud’s is a relatively common condition, affecting up to 10 million people in the UK. It’s characterised by a sensitivity of the extremities, such as hands and feet, to changes in temperature. It’s as common as hayfever and yet you’ve probably never heard of it!
Secondary Raynaud’s which is much less common, is associated with an underlying disease or external factors. This is more serious and you should visit your GP if you suspect you have it as early and accurate diagnosis is essential.
“We know that despite a quarter of people saying that they had experienced symptoms, only 10% on average have visited their GP. This needs to change – Raynaud’s can be a minor but uncomfortable inconvenience, but for those more seriously affected it’s crucial that they seek medical treatment and support as early as possible. We hope with our online test people can self-manage the condition better, seek treatment where necessary but, above all, know that they are not alone”
Sue Farrington, SRUK Chief Executive
Other parts of the body can be affected by Raynaud’s including the ears, nose, lips and nipples.
The symptoms aren’t constant, they come and go. An attack can be as short as a few minutes or it may last for hours. Some people have long gaps between attacks while others may have one or more attacks every day.
There is currently no cure for Raynaud’s, however making some straightforward, practical lifestyle adjustments can help with Raynaud’s symptoms. We still don’t understand what causes Raynaud’s, however we do know that lifestyle factors such as smoking and stress can exacerbate the symptoms.
It’s not just the weather, other exposures to cold can set off symptoms. It might be something simple like walking through the cold aisle in a supermarket or reaching into your freezer.
Claire from Shropshire has a busy family life and finds living with Raynaud’s means planning ahead:
“If it’s particularly cold I put my gloves on the radiator before I go out and get my wellie boots in to warm up; as I get it in my toes as well.
Chopping vegetables is also a problem. I try to get the vegetables out in plenty of time to warm up; if you mess that up you’re liable to lose a finger!”
Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK (SRUK) is the only charity in the UK dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by scleroderma and Raynaud’s. We exist to improve awareness and understanding of these conditions, to support those affected and ultimately to find a cure.
We are here to support you through your diagnosis and to help you manage your condition; we offer a free helpline service, a range of information and links to support groups in your area.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for everyone, but particularly children as they need all of the necessary nutrients for growth and development. A healthy diet and regular physical activity can stabilise energy, sharpen the mind and improve mood.
We know that eating a healthy well balanced diet is important for children but it is not always easy to get your children interested in anything other than sweets and chocolate.
We’ve got some handy tips to help you give your children a kick start to a happy healthy future…
1 Eat together at a proper meal time whenever possible: organise your day into three set meal times so you and your children sit down to nice nutritional meals without interruptions. It can be tempting to eat meals in front of the television or eat on the go but if you encourage your children to eat at the table at a set times it should not only reduce snacking but also help teach important social skills.
2 Lead by example: Remember you’re a role model. Children copy parents and siblings and learn by example leading to another benefi t of eating together. By you showing you enjoy eating a variety of food your children will be encouraged to at least try a bite even if it’s off your plate.
3 Be creative: With the range of fruit and vegetables available to you and allowing your children to take charge the possibilities are endless. You could have a personalised pizza, caterpillar kebabs or a potato person. Show your children that food can be fun and that meal times as a family can be exciting.
4 Snack attack: Remember that not every snack needs to be crisps or chocolate, there are many options for you to choose from for example dried fruit, vegetable sticks, yogurt or air popped popcorn. Children love variety so make snack time fun, plus with the right snack children will have more energy for play time.
5 Don’t give food as a reward: You want your children to have a healthy relationship with food so don’t reward good behaviour with sweets and chocolate. Try affection, stickers or extra play time to reward your children so they don’t associate good behaviour with high calorie food.