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Once its 9:00 p.m., my house is quiet as both my kids are into their bed and sleeping soundly. I have sleep trained them at a very early age and now it has become their routine to get about 8 to 9 hours of sleep every day. They have their dinner, brush their teeth, say their prayers and listen to a story and then the lights are out. I am really satisfied that this schedule has helped them to remain healthy, fresh and energetic throughout the day.
Today, in this piece of writing I will share with you why adequate sleep is important for your child and how insufficient sleep can affect your child’s health.
We all know that babies and teens need to sleep more than the adults to support their rapid physical and mental development. But many of us are not aware of how many hours kids need to sleep and what impact can be of missing 60 or 90 minutes of sleep time.
Sleep is considered to be the food for the brain and it is during this time that important body and brain functions occur. Skipping it can not only be harmful, but also deadly as it may make you feel moody and also perform poorly at work. It can hurt your scores on school exams and may become the cause of serious health concerns like early death, obesity and other diseases.
Eight to nine hours of sleep for longevity:
Every healthy kid should have at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. According to a research in the UK, it is stated that those who slept for less than 6 hours at night were more likely to experience premature death. Studies have stated that adolescent sleeping patterns are also different from those of kids and adults. During the teen years, the body’s circadian rhythm is temporarily reset, telling the individual to fall asleep later or even wake up later. This change is caused due to the brain hormone melatonin, which is produced at night for teens. Though a few hours of missed sleep may not seem like a big thing, but it can take a toll on the health over time.
Sleep helps to manage your body’s energy needs and promotes growth
Good sleep is very essential to manage your child’s appetite. Poor habits can increase the energy need as the brain will release chemicals to signal hunger and this may lead to more eating, gaining weight and exercising less. Children having less sleep always have a higher risk for obesity and high BMI and this may affect them as they mature. Growth hormones are usually secreted during deep sleep, so it is very important that children have adequate sleep.
Sleep helps to build the immune system
It is during sleep that children produce proteins called cytokines that helps the body to fight infections, stress and illness. Too little sleep may impact the number of cytokines and kids are more likely to develop a cold when exposed to the virus. Long term sleep deprivation may affect the immunity system and make your child weak.
Proper sleep increases kids’ attention:
Kids who sleep for only few hours at night before the age of 3 are more likely to have impulsivity and hyperactivity problems by the age of 6. Sleep deprivation includes impulsivity and distractibility. School age may face problems of low attention and may not be able to focus on their school work.
How to build a better bedtime routine for kids:
If you make your kids follow a regular bedtime routine, then there is plenty you can really do to help your kids grow healthy. Here are some tips.
Encourage self-soothing: Don’t let your baby sleep while eating. Put her to bed when she is awake and make this a habit so that by 6 months your baby typically sleeps through the night. Allow your baby to sleep on her own, and don’t always rush to your fussing baby.
Set the surroundings for sleep: Prepare the room for your child before she goes to sleep, maintain the room temperature and shut off the screens generated by computers or tablets.
Read a bedtime story: Reading is a great bedtime activity and this also helps kids learn. Hearing stories are a great means for kids to pass in a dreamland.
Create a daily routine: Fix the time for sleep and help your kids follow it regularly. Make sure that they are in bed before 9 p.m. and get up in the morning at fixed time.
Parents may not always be aware of the benefits of sleep or the harm that less sleep can cause to their child. Reading this piece of information will surely help to gather more knowledge and also help to prepare a sleep schedule for your kids.