The importance of sleep in children’s lives and provides 7 practical tips for parents to adopt a healthy sleep routine for their child. Sleep plays a crucial role in cognitive, emotional, and physical development in children. Inadequate sleep can lead to mood changes, difficulty in learning and paying attention, and even health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. By establishing a consistent bedtime routine, creating a relaxing sleep environment, and limiting electronic device usage, parents can help their child achieve better sleep habits for a happier and healthier life. Read on to learn more about the benefits of healthy sleep habits and how to implement them in your child’s daily routine.
Why is it important for children to sleep?
Preschool-aged children, from 3 to 5 years old, typically need between 10 and 13 hours of sleep at night.
On the other hand, school-aged children, from 6 to 13 years old, need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep.
Here are some guidelines to achieve good sleep hygiene that facilitates productivity, learning, and brain development in children.
- Sleep in children is important, for that reason establish the same bedtime and wake-up time every day, even on weekends.
- The bed is only for sleeping. Using the bed for playing, watching TV, or eating makes it difficult for the brain to associate the bed with sleep.
- The bedroom should be comfortable, cozy, cool, and quiet.
- Establish a bedtime routine, meaning a series of activities that lead up to bedtime. This includes brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, and reading a story.
- Include quiet and relaxing activities. Decreasing interaction with videos and screens is one of the most important steps to initiate rest. Encourage slow breathing exercises or positive imagery, such as being at the beach.
- On the contrary, encourage children to do energetic exercises and activities during the day to keep them active and awake, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
- If the child tosses and turns and cannot fall asleep, it is recommended to get up and do a calming activity, such as reading a book or coloring.If the child still cannot sleep after returning to bed, repeat the activity. The important thing about this action is not to associate the bed with insomnia.
Why is it important for children to sleep?
Sleep in children is a crucial aspect of their lives that should never be overlooked. It is a fundamental need for their growth and development. Adequate sleep plays a critical role in children’s cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. Research has shown that children who get enough sleep perform better in school, have better emotional regulation, and experience better physical growth and development.
The importance of sleep in children’s cognitive development cannot be overstated. During sleep, the brain processes and consolidates information, facilitating learning, memory consolidation, and problem-solving skills. Children who regularly get enough sleep tend to perform better academically and have a better ability to retain new knowledge.
Emotional regulation is another area where sleep plays an essential role. Adequate sleep helps to regulate children’s moods and behaviour, making them less irritable, moody, and impulsive. Children who get enough sleep are less likely to experience anxiety and depression, leading to better overall quality of life.
Physical development is yet another area where sleep plays a critical role. During sleep, the body produces growth hormone, which is essential for the development of bones and muscles. Children who do not get enough sleep may experience stunted growth and delayed motor skills.
Sleep also plays a role in maintaining children’s overall health. Lack of sleep can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases in children. Regular and sufficient sleep helps to strengthen the immune system, making children less susceptible to illnesses and infections.
To create healthy sleep habits in children, parents can establish a consistent bedtime routine, ensure that the child’s bedroom is quiet, dark, and comfortable, and limit the use of electronic devices before bedtime. Encouraging regular exercise can also promote better sleep in children.
In conclusion, sleep in children is vital for their growth, development, and overall well-being. Adequate sleep plays a crucial role in their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. Parents must ensure that their children get enough sleep by creating healthy sleep habits that will benefit them in the short and long term. Encouraging good sleep habits in children is an investment in their future health and well-being.