Sleep is essential for healthy child development. Children who sleep well are better prepared to function well in daily life. While babies often get most of the attention when it comes to sleep, older kid’s sleep is important too. Children have different sleep needs at various stages. You will be amazed to know the importance of kids sleep in learning & development.
How kids Sleep Affects Their Lives
Sleep is an essential part of maintaining physical and emotional health at any age. When children are short on sleep, they may struggle both academically and socially, and it can be challenging to develop a healthy lifestyle.
When children are sleep deprived, the functions of the prefrontal cortex and amygdala are diminished. These are the parts of the brain that control function, attention, and emotional processes. Children who are sleep deprived display measurable deterioration in emotional regulation and alertness. But when children get enough sleep along with a well-balanced diet, they see gains in these areas.
How Many Hours do kids Sleep?
Child sleep is not one size fits all. At every stage of development, children have different sleep needs, so sleep goals are always changing. The constant change can make it difficult to keep up with them and maintain a regular schedule. But when kids sleep well, they can learn and grow better, so it’s important to adjust as children develop.
Although there are particular guidelines for each stage of development, there are general signals that a child is well rested and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. When a child is well-rested, it’s easy for them to wake up without much parent involvement. They should either wake up on their own or not need much help getting out of bed.
Well-rested children are typically more alert, able to concentrate, and have more even emotional reactions.
At the newborn stage, babies need 16 to 18 hours of sleep, including seven to nine hours of nap time sleep during the day. By one year old, babies only need 13 to 14 hours of sleep, with two to three hours of napping during the day. In the preschool years, sleep needs range from 11 to 14 hours with zero to two hours of napping. School-aged children need 10 to 11 hours of rest, typically with no naps.
How Can Parents Support kids Sleep?
Schedule sleep first. Make sleep a priority by understanding how much rest your child needs, and then scheduling activities around it. Figure out what time they need to wake up in the morning and count backward to determine their optimal bedtime.
Keep a regular sleep schedule. Although it’s tempting to let children relax their sleep schedule on the weekends or during holidays and summertime, this can be detrimental to sleep quality. Children with varying sleep schedules may find it difficult to get to bed on time and suffer from too little sleep. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule makes it easier to stay on track, and children thrive on consistency.
How an excellent healthy bedtime routine helps your child?
Create a healthy bedtime routine. Go through the same few activities each night before bed with children. Again, consistency is vital in supporting healthy sleep. Taking a warm bath followed by massage can help induce sleep. When you go through the same few activities each night, your child gets signals that it’s bedtime and time to settle down and relax, which can make it easier to doze off.
Cut back on sleep pitfalls. Busy schedules, screen time, even food can interfere with healthy sleep. Help your child sleep better by avoiding major sleep pitfalls. Make sure they have enough time to complete homework and other responsibilities during the day, so they’re not tempted to stay up late at night to finish them. Stop screen time at least one hour before bed. There are many ways to keep the kids busy without gadgets. Additionally, give them healthy & nutritious meals throughout the day.
Encourage kids to avoid heavy meals and caffeine before bed, but don’t send them to bed hungry. .
Offer a healthy sleep environment. Children sleep well in a healthy environment. Bedrooms should be kept quiet, with cool temperature and darkness at night. Soft mattresses and bedding appropriate for the temperature are critical too.
There’s no magic number of hours that your child can sleep for maximum learning and growth. All sleep recommendations are a range because kids have various sleep needs. However, it’s never a bad idea to teach kids about good sleep habits that they can use for the rest of their lives.