Top Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep for Children
How long should a healthy child sleep? Experts recommend that kids should sleep at least eight to ten hours daily for their brains to function properly. Enough sleep also encourages memory retention. Healthy dieting and exercising alone do not guarantee your kids’ wellbeing. Sleep is crucial to attaining excellent health.
In the recent past, it is common to find kids committing suicide or using antidepressants. Parents often wonder where they went wrong as they provide essential requirements to their young ones, including a safe physical environment, yet they develop poor physical and psychological health conditions. Unfortunately, electronic gadgets such as phones, video games, and television often prevent kids’ healthy sleep patterns—a predisposing factor to many modern mental health problems.
Improves Immune System
A child’s body fights diseases efficiently when it gets enough sleep. Many body functions operate better when you are asleep, which explains why you feel like napping when you are sick or exhausted. When healthy sleeping kids encounter germs, such as the common cold, the body is often ready to combat the illnesses.
Enhances Heart Health
A healthy heart requires a child to sleep at least seven to hours at night, excluding the daytime nap. Many people suffer heart attacks during the morning hours, probably because the blood vessels narrow down when you have not slept enough. Experts have often associated inadequate sleep in adults with increased cholesterol, stroke, and poor retention. In most cases, a condition known as regression leads to severe sleep disruption among kids at night.
What is sleep regression anyway? This condition disrupts the ability of your child to sleep soundly. A child suffering from sleep regression is unable to sleep well as they could previously. The condition develops at different ages in kids and usually resolves itself naturally.
Some common strategies of resolving sleep regressions in children include:
- Encourage your children to sleep at a specific time
- Seek the advice of a sleep consultant
- Reduce screen time
- Ensure the child gets enough of their favorite meal
- Avoid changing a kid’s routine, such as daycare or nanny
- Implement heat retention measures during winter to keep your child comfortable throughout the night
Have you ever wondered what could cause stress in a three-year old child raised in a healthy environment? Children who do not sleep enough, often because they spend too much time watching television and playing video games, synthesize a lot of stress hormones that cause high blood pressure. Parents should help their children relax by reading exciting bedtime stories or engaging an activity that would allow them to fall asleep faster.
Improves Mind Alertness
Your child’s brain development in the early years is crucial. The brains should be energized and alert since the child is learning new languages and life skills. When children nap enough at night, they remain active throughout the day, good preparation for sleeping well at night.
Helps Lose Weight
In these days, many children are obese. Researchers associate the problem with a lack of enough sleep. Evidence suggests that lack of enough sleep affects the balance of hormones that regulate appetite. A child is likely to overeat as well as engage in limited physical activities. These aspects lead to fast weight gain.
Ensure your child sleeps enough to improve the healthy functioning of the body’s natural clock. A healthy body ensures the body digests excess energy efficiently.
The National Sleep Foundation argues that the interruption of the natural sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm) in humans exposes individuals to cancer. The internal clock in the body regulates numerous functions, including the improvement of the immune system. On the same note, kids with poor night sleep patterns often suffer from peptic ulcer disease, a predisposing factor to the throat, stomach, and colon cancer.
Does your child look sad? A gloomy mood is an indicator of inadequate sleep. Encourage the child to sleep for more hours to improve their happiness. Children rarely cry when they have slept enough since they can remain calm even when you upset them. A bath or shower before bed might just be what they need to relax and fall asleep.
Make Sure Your Kids Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Children from ages three to five usually need ten to thirteen hours of sleep every night, while children aged six to thirteen should have at least nine to eleven hours of sleep at night. Your children can enjoy all the benefits of quality sleep if they have good sleeping habits, such as the following:
Having a consistent bedtime schedule and routine
Having a quiet and cool room that’s conducive to sleeping and free from distractions
Avoiding the consumption of caffeine (e.g., chocolates, soft drinks) in the afternoon and at night
Not using gadgets like smartphones, computers, the TV, and gaming devices in the bedroom
Not spending too much nonsleep time in bed
Avoiding high-energy activities (e.g., playing, watching TV, exercise) before bedtime
Setting aside a designated “worry time,” during which kids can talk to their parents about their concerns
Having a comforting object like a security blanket or a toy to cuddle with so the kids feel safe as they sleep even when the parents are away or in another room
Parents should check in on their sleeping kids and be on the lookout for possible signs of sleep disorders. For example, symptoms like breathing through the mouth during sleep, gasping or choking during sleep, excessive and loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, and poor concentration and appetite may be indicative of sleep apnea, a serious medical condition marked by breathing difficulties during sleep.
Having a good night’s sleep is essential to the proper growth and development of children, so it is important to pay close attention to their sleeping habits and to know what keeps kids from getting enough rest.