04/09/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/09/2019 00:48
It's certainly not something we do on purpose. But with parents working long hours, packed school schedules, after-school activities, and other lifestyle factors, naps are missed, bedtimes are pushed back, mornings start earlier and nights may be anything but peaceful. Missing naps or going to bed a little late may not seem like a big deal, but it all adds up, with consequences that may last a lifetime.
'Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. It recharges your brain's battery, increasing one's brainpower and attention span, as well as allowing you to be physically relaxed and mentally alert at the same time. Then and only then can you function at your personal best.' as stated by Paediatrician Marc Weissbluth.
Signs of sleep-related problems may show up in a number of ways with kids, including daytime sleepiness, weakened immune systems, inattention, poor concentration, moodiness, behavioural problems, weight gain, irregular social skills and poor academic performance. According to Dr Avi Sadeh, a loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to the loss of two years of cognitive maturation and development.
To understand the critical nature of sleep to our children's growth and development, let's take a look at the essentials needed for healthy sleep and what interventions we can put in place in our homes to encourage better sleep routines.
Essentials of Healthy Sleep
Healthy sleep allows for optimal alertness when we are awake. This is the state in which we are most receptive to and interactive with our environment - when our attention span is at its best and the most learning can occur. You can see this in a child who is calm and attentive, pleasant, wide eyed, absorbing everything, and socially interacts with ease. Altered states of alertness interfere with a child's learning and behaviour.
Healthy sleep thus requires:
How can we help our kids get the proper amount of sleep?
As parents, it is our responsibility to be sensitive to and protect our children's sleep, just as we do their safety. We are primarily responsible for their sleep habits so it is important to start healthy ones early; it is much easier to instil good habits than correct bad ones.
Thus infuse the importance of sleep with daily attention to it and you will likely have a happier, self-assured, less demanding, and more sociable child. And who knows, you might just get some more sleep yourself!