Sleep is an important part of everyone’s daily routine and an integral component of living a healthy lifestyle. According to studies, children who get enough sleep regularly have better focus, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Sleep deprivation can result in high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression.
If lack of sleep is causing your child to be sleepy during the day or have behavior problems at school then you should see your pediatrician right away.
How much sleep does a child need?
The sleep requirement changes with age. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests:
- Under 1-year-old: 12-16 hours
- 1-2-year-old: 11-14 hours
- 3-5-year-old: 10-13 hours
- 6-12-year-old: 9-12 hours
- 13-18-year-old: 8-10 hours
What advice would you give parents to help children get the recommended amount of sleep?
Find out what’s affecting your child’s sleep. It’s important to set up a bedtime routine and follow this routine religiously every day. This way the child knows what to expect and understands what is expected of him at bedtime. These are a few practices you can adopt for bedtime:
- Dim the lights.
- Switch off electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Give a warm bath.
- Engage in a quiet family activity like reading a short book.
Also Read: Ajita Gopal Seethepalli: Bringing Back Joyful Parenting with Her Sleep Training Superpowers
Benefits of Sleeping Well
Boosts the immune system
When your body gets the rest it needs, it boosts the immune system. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s well-rested sleep experts, getting enough deep sleep also helps vaccines work better.
Prevents weight gain
Sleeping for eight hours won’t make you lose weight, but it will keep you from gaining weight. When you don’t get enough sleep, the body releases ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone. Your body also produces less leptin, a hormone that tells you when you’re finished. Put them both together, and you’ve got yourself a risky late-night snacking combination. Furthermore, when you don’t get enough sleep, you are tired and lack the stamina to fight junk food cravings.
Heart problems at bay
Sleep deprivation can lead to heart problems such as high blood pressure or heart attacks. Lack of sleep causes your body to release cortisol, a stress hormone that makes your heart work overtime.
If you sleep well, you will feel fresh when you wake up. Your energy levels will skyrocket if you get enough sleep. Life’s little obstacles won’t bother you as much when your energy is up.
Skipping a good night’s sleep may have a negative impact at work or school. A good night’s sleep increases focus and cognitive performance. A restless night can leave you frazzled, making mistakes more likely.
The ugly truth
Suppose you sleep for less than five hours; the odds of getting into a car accident quadruple! That’s because the brain isn’t completely receptive, and your response tends to slow dramatically.
Hand-eye synchronization, response time, and muscle regeneration work efficiently when you have clocked in the adequate sleeping hours.
Even though sleep provides the body with the relaxation it needs, your mind continues to function. While you are asleep the day’s memories are processed.
How to adjust your child’s sleeping schedule?
An overtired child is unlikely to sleep through the night. It’s best to follow a standard sleep routine and stick to it at all times.
Children may get up in the middle of the night for reasons such as the urge to go to the bathroom, bedwetting, nightmare, sleep regression, or sleepwalking. Consult the family doctor or a sleep consultant if you’re worried about your child’s sleeping habits.
Although your sleeping habits may fluctuate from time to time, we hope this article will persuade you to get a good night’s rest. And remember to indulge in a relaxing night-time ritual that allows you to enjoy your slumber!