Kids need sleep for good health and growth. Sleep is also vital for fighting against diseases in children and enabling them to concentrate on their daytime activities. In this article, we'll discuss why it's so important for kids to get a good night's sleep.
Kids need sleep for good health and growth. Sleep is also vital for fighting against diseases in children and enabling them to concentrate on their daytime activities. It's common for children to experience sleep disorders which can be treated by adopting healthy sleeping patterns.
Parents can help children get enough sleep by being consistent and removing distractions from their rooms during bedtime. In this article, we'll discuss why it's so important for kids to get a good night's sleep.
According to The Sleep Health Foundation, the recommended amount of sleep for children varies based on age as follows:
• 12-17 hours for infants under one year.
• 11-14 hours for children 1-2 years old.
• 10-13 hours for children 3-5 years old.
• 9-11 hours for children 6-13 years old.
• 8-10 hours for teenagers 14-17 years old.
Kids need sleep to grow. In children, the growth hormone is predominantly secreted during sleep. Babies and toddlers spend about 50 per cent of their time in deep sleep, essential for rapid growth, which occurs during this stage.
Sleep leads to better behaviour. Children who sleep more tend to be better behaved. One study from Sleep Medicine shows that children who fight or bully their schoolmates are likely to suffer from sleep deprivation.
Getting enough sleep keeps children healthy. In deep sleep, kids produce cytokines, proteins that the body uses to fight stress, illness and infection.
One of the best ways to ensure enough sleep in children is by being consistent. Parents should ensure that they stick to a particular bedtime and waking up time every day. This is often challenging during school holidays, but parents are always advised to adhere as much as possible.
It's also advisable to ensure that kids’ bedrooms are free from distracting elements such as TVs, noisy toys, phones and other electronic devices. Having a balanced diet and adequate exercise is vital for healthy sleep patterns.
Some kids tend to be restless at bedtime because they long for more attention. Parents should spend more time with their children to help them sleep better. A nanny or babysitter can stand in for busy parents and those who work at night.
Children who get enough sleep have no problem waking up. They do so with ease and have fewer cases of nagging. They can also fall asleep within half an hour or less.
Well-rested children are mentally alert throughout the day and more enthusiastic about engaging in physical activities.
Some common sleep disorders in children are night terrors, nightmares, parasomnias such as sleepwalking and sleep talking, and insomnia. It's possible to treat most of these disorders with a consistent bedtime routine and good sleep hygiene.
Parents must discourage the habit of children visiting their room for comfort during wee hours. They must also talk to their primary doctors about snoring in children since it might be a sign of a related medical issue such as sleep apnea.
Parents who are unsure about their children's sleeping patterns can consult their paediatrician to create a suitable sleeping plan.