Good sleep is essential for proper growth and development – both mental and physical. While some children go to sleep as soon as the lights are out, many have trouble despite following a strict schedule during the day. Contrary to what you may think, your little one may not be doing it willfully; there are numerous factors that could prevent young children from getting a good night’s sleep.
Here’s what you need to know about sleep issues in kids and why it’s so important for them to get a good night’s rest:
Why does your child have trouble sleeping?
Excitement and anticipation create adrenaline that contributes to greater alertness. This, in turn, can cause one to be less sleepy. Scientists also suggest that the level of sugar in your child’s system at bedtime could affect their ability to fall asleep. A slice of cake or a bar of chocolate before bed could drastically inhibit their sleep. The effect that electronic gadgets have on children today is pretty much the same.
Also keep in mind that as your child grows, the amount of sleep their body needs decreases. While young children need 10-12 hours of sleep a day, teens can get along with less. But kids of all ages could face trouble sleeping at night if they sleep longer than their body requires during the day.
Another reason that could keep kids awake is the nuisance caused by mosquitoes and other insects. The constant buzzing and biting can definitely disturb sleep. Children who are thus affected could end up spending a restless night, tossing and turning in bed.
The consequences of troubled sleep
A fussy, tantrum-throwing child is only the beginning. Sleep deprivation can cause fluctuations in weight, loss of appetite, and even lack of concentration and focus. It affects the entire sleep cycle of a child. If they don’t sleep at a scheduled time, children can’t wake at a scheduled time. This can naturally affect their performance in academics and sports.
In the very worst cases, sleep deprivation can cause damage to the posterior hypothalamus of the brain, which could have long-term consequences, such as impaired cognition.
The solution to sleep deprivation
While it’s important to have a sleep schedule, the amount of time you let your child sleep and the amount of physical activity you let them engage in also contributes to better sleep overall. Discourage them from playing with electronic gadgets or eating sweets at least two hours (the earlier the better) before bedtime.
The environment also matters; a quiet, dimly-lit room might help your child get better sleep than one with bright lights and constant noises.
To address the mosquito problem, plug the Goodknight Gold Flash System in the room where they sleep. This can also be used for nap times during the day and will ensure a safe sleep environment for your child. Remember, all it takes is one bite for a mosquito to transmit a dreaded disease such as malaria, dengue, or chikungunya.
For children who sleep alone and are afraid of the dark, a night lamp or a comforting accessory (such as a blankie or a soft toy) can be very handy in dispelling that fear. You could also make it a practice to read them bedtime stories to help them fall asleep.
The brain is said to sort out problems and regulate blood pressure during sleep, so this makes it vital to get a good amount of shut-eye, especially for kids. So, keep these points in mind while making sure your child has the best sleep possible.