You have probably had mornings where you have sworn that your child has grown overnight, and this is completely normal. In fact, growth hormones are secreted when a child sleeps and that is why newborn babies seem to spend half of their time sleeping. For this reason, if your child is not getting enough sleep then this can cause them problems and you may also find that they are more likely to develop problems in the future.
Sleep Supports the Heart
Experts have continually claimed that sleep helps to protect your child from any vascular damage. This is especially the case when you think about the circulating stress hormones and even the damage that they do. Children who have sleep disorders often have brain activity during the night and this can give them the flight or fight response hundreds of time every single day. This means that their blood glucose levels and even their cortisol levels are continually elevated and this can be linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes as well. If your child is getting enough sleep then all of this can be prevented, but if they are constantly waking up and moving around during the night then this can be bad news.
Sleep Affects their Weight
There is a lot of evidence that shows that getting too little sleep can cause children to become overweight. This starts in infancy and there have been a ton of studies done on this. When you have eaten enough to feel satisfied, the fat cells that are in your body create a hormone called leptin. This tells your body that you are full and that you need to stop eating. Sleep deprivation can really impact this hormone so kids carry on eating. Kids who are worn out tend to eat differently when compared to those kids who are well-rested. You may find that they need higher-carb foods and even foods that are higher in fat as well. This is because they are trying to fuel their body with energy that they don’t have because of their lack of sleep. If you want to find out more about bedtime routine recommendations then there are plenty of guides out there for you to look at.
Sleep Defends Your Child Against Germs
When your child is sleeping, they are able to produce a protein that is known as cytokine. The body relies on these to try and fight infection, illness and stress as well. When your child is ill, they are very tired all the time and this explains why. The body is forcing your child to rest so that more cytokine can be made and this will help to fight off the flu or infection. If your child does not have enough sleep then this can really have an impact on the amount of cytokines that are available. It has also been found that adults who sleep for less than 7 hours every night are much more likely to develop a cold when exposed to a virus. For this reason, you have to make sure that you give your child the support that they need by aiding them with as much sleep as possible, and this is especially the case if they have come down with an illness lately.
Sleep Reduces Injury
Kids are very clumsy and they are also very impulsive as well. This is especially the case when they don’t get enough sleep. A study was done and it showed that those who had less sleep had a much higher chance of experiencing an injury. In fact, the study showed that 91% of children who had more than two accidents a year had less than 9 hours sleep every night.
Sleep Increases your Child’s Attention Span
Children who constantly sleep less than 10 hours every single night before they reach the age of 3 are much more likely to have hyperactive episodes and they are also much more likely to be impulsive as well. The symptoms of sleep deprivation include irritability and even a lack of concentration when doing things like homework as well. If you are able to give your child an extra half an hour of sleep every single day then this will help to manage their mood and it will also help them to maintain their level of concentration much longer as well.
Sleep Boosts Learning
A baby may look peaceful when they are asleep but the truth is that their mind is constantly working. They are always trying to learn new things and they are also trying to develop as well. If you are not able to give your child enough time to sleep then they won’t develop as quickly as they could and you may even be impairing their learning as well. If your child is struggling with their grades or if they are suffering academically then try and give them a bit more sleep every day. This will really help them to achieve more in their life and it will also help them to be more active in the day as well.
Helping your Child to Sleep
If you want to help your child to sleep then one thing that you can do is read to them before they go to bed. You will also want to help them unwind by not letting them watch television as well. Another thing that you can do to help them to get to sleep is play relaxing music. There are so many CDs out there and the best thing that you can do is help them to establish a routine. When you are able to do this, you can then really give them the support that they need to settle down and you can also help their development as well.
So getting your child to go to sleep is crucial and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to do this when you have the right routine in place. With sleep being so crucial to a child’s development, it isn’t hard to see why it’s so important to monitor.