Getting enough sleep is essential for everyone, especially children. Numerous studies have discovered the benefits of getting a full night of sleep every evening, as well as the consequences of being sleep-deprived. In our fast-paced world, making sure your child gets enough sleep is more important than ever. Here’s why:
Health Benefits of Sleep
- Prevents Illnesses: While we sleep, our bodies flush out disease-causing toxins and repair cells. If we are not getting enough sleep, our body is not able to fully complete this process, putting our immune system at risk. For this reason, people are more likely to get sick when they haven’t been sleeping well. Since a child’s immune system is still developing, getting a full night of sleep is crucial to staying healthy.
- Fosters Physical Growth: Sleep is also essential to childhood growth. Growth hormone is typically secreted the most during a deep slumber. This is one of the reasons why children need to get more sleep than adults. Studies have shown that children who sleep less than the average child tested for lower levels of growth hormone.
Adequate amounts of sleep for children enhances cognitive performance and improves the following:
- Brain function
- Academic performance
- Overall mood
Children who receive adequate amounts of sleep also experience:
- Less irritability and crankiness
- Fewer temper tantrums
Getting enough sleep has been shown to improve a child’s memory. Consolidation, or the process in which a memory becomes stable in the brain, occurs during sleep. It is during sleep that the neural connections that form our memories are strengthened, and special brainwaves are activated to assist with the memory formation.
Tips to Improve Sleep
- Set a Routine – One of the best ways to make sure that your child is getting a full night of sleep is by creating a consistent bedtime routine. It’s important to make sure that your child is going to bed at around the same time every night. Your child’s body will learn to anticipate this bedtime and sleep will come more naturally as a result.
- Unplug – Studies have also shown that by turning off electronics two hours before bed, children have a much easier time falling asleep. This is because the light generated by computer and TV screens reduces melatonin (sleep hormone) production.
- Create a Relaxing Environment – If your child is still having difficulties falling asleep, there are several different techniques you can try.
- Read them a bedtime story
- Have them take a warm bath
- Play white noise or calming music on a sound machine or phone application
At Prep Academy Schools, we recognize the importance of making sure that your child is healthy and getting enough sleep. For each student to excel both inside and outside of the classroom, we understand that getting a full night of sleep is essential. We understand that healthy habits at home and school are essential in raising healthy kids and developing strong learning and concentration skills. Working together with families, we can ensure each child reaches his or her full potential.
More in the Sleepy Time Series: The Importance of Napping and Dealing with Nightmares