Nothing can beat the power of a good night’s sleep, whether it is for adults or children. For infants and young children, however, it is even more important as it plays a major role in the development of the brain as well as all aspects of early growth and development. It has been found that sleep is a vital element and is a necessity for kids to stay healthy, happy and energetic.
The Results of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Insufficient sleep or deprivation wreaks havoc in your child’s everyday normal functioning. You may notice that your child acts moody and cranky after getting less sleep but that’s not all. Other than behavioral changes, there are several other side effects as well, which can be seriously detrimental in the long run.
• Insufficient sleep can manifest as attention, memory, learning and behavior problems.
• In children, particularly before the age of 41 months, it can show up as an increase in hyperactivity impulsivity. Children may also show lower cognitive performance.
• Sleep deprivation can also affect metabolism. As a result, your child can go on to develop cardiovascular disease, obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes.
• It can also cause energy imbalance as it affects levels of cortisol, ghrelin, leptin, insulin and growth hormone. Some children also show emotion problems.
• In cases of adolescents, it can result in high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse, drowsy driving and suicidal behaviors.
Symptoms of Not Enough Sleep
• Your child wants to nap frequently during the day
• Your child is constantly yawning
• It becomes difficult for your child to wake up in the morning
• Your child lacks motivation, interest and finds it difficult to focus and pay attention.
• After being woken up, they want to go back to bed
• They miss out on fun activities with friends or family just to go and lie down.
• There are complaints from teachers about your child feeling drowsy or yawning nonstop at school.
A Good Night’s Sleep is a Prerequisite
It is imperative that children, right from infants to adolescents, get the right amount of sleep every day. This also includes nap time in the. Families need to work together to ensure sleep becomes a priority.
The benefits of adequate sleep are endless. It keeps you more alert, active and relaxed. It can even affect temperament, personality, learning and social behavior. Establish a nightly routine for your child is important so that once their head hits the pillow, your child falls into a deep slumber, waking up refreshed and energized in the morning.