How Much Sleep do Kids Need?
Sleep is an essential entity for the human body. Sleep is important for children to achieve growth and appropriate development. It helps individuals in all ages to maintain a sound mind, composure and alertness.
Preschoolers, ages three to five years old, usually spend 11 to 13 hours sleeping every night. There are chances it will be difficult for a toddler to fall asleep. They also tend to wake up during the night.
School children, ages six to 13 years old, require nine to 11 hours of sleep. Distractions are present anytime and anywhere for these kids. Their recommended time for sleep or nap might be shifted toward watching television, vide games or the use of computers and any handheld device.
Caffeine products, such as pop, can be easily consumed by the school age group. This can lead to difficulty in falling asleep or disruptions in sleep. Aside from sleeping late, the kids may also have fewer sleeping hours as a result of waking up early the following day for school.
The Benefits of Healthy Sleep
When your kids have taken adequate number of hours of sleep, they will perform optimally throughout the day. The kid will be observant and attentive, which assists in active learning. Their behavior will be pleasant, and they will absorb everything around them.
A study states that children who sleep less are inclined to eat more energy-rich foods, such as high-calorie, low-nutrient, oily and sugary foods and drinks. These sleep-deprived children were also noted to consume a lower amount of nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
Here are causes that are thought to be the main reasons for becoming overweight:
- When you restrict your sleep, your body also restricts releasing the hormone, leptin, that suppresses your appetite. Also, the hormone called ghrelin, which stimulates the appetite, will be produced by the body at high levels, making your body crave food.
- The child will feel hungry when awake for an extended period since they have more opportunities to eat while being awake longer. They will consume more food than those who have adequate hours of sleep.
- Cutting your sleep short may result in hormonal changes in one's body. There will be decreased growth hormone being released to the body of a sleep deprived person. This will lead to a decrease in the destruction of body fats during sleeping time.
- Sleeping habits may impact food choices, too. Not getting enough sleep may lead to unhealthy snack choices.
Ways to Encourage Sleep for Your Child
Sleep deprivation can be harmful to a child's growth and development. Parents should exhaust all possible ways to promote healthy sleeping habits. Try using the following suggestions below.
Sleeping in Their Own Bed
Let your toddler sleep in his or her own bed. Every night explain to your kid that it is his or her bed now and no one will sleep there aside from him or her. Toddlers will eventually understand and with repetition, it will stick to his or her mind.
No More Naps
Cutting your child's nap during the day so they are awake for longer hours will make him or her go to bed early in the evening. While this means early bedtime, this also requires additional playtime during the day. Make sure you provide fun activities the child will be interested in.
Reading Before Bed
Read a bedtime story with your kid. This is good to do during the evenings. Your kid gets the attention he or she needs, the parent gets quality time with their child and the child will be learning too. Doing this routinely will also get your child into a sleep routine.
Lots of Activity
Let your kid be physically active during the day. Physical activity, whether playing at the park or strolling around the neighborhood, will make your child spend all the energy they have.
Get Rid of Lights
Turn off the lights in your child's room. A dark room induces sleep so put those curtains down and switch off all the lights.
Healthy Sleeping Habits
Here are some tips to help your kid catch the sleep they need:
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule and emphasize to your why they need it
- A calming and relaxing bedtime routine should be planned and implemented
- Make it a comfortable place where the child will sleep
- Have them prepare a little earlier than the target sleeping time
- Avoid screen time before
- Caffeine should be avoided (soda, iced tea)