Easy facts on why your child needs more sleep

November 3, 2015

If your child is groggy or grumpy, it could mean that they’re not getting enough sleep. It’s easy to check whether lack of sleep is causing these problems and to make positive changes. The following tips on kids and sleep will help.


Easy facts on why your child needs more sleep

Why is sleep important for kids?

For children, sleep is particularly important because they are still growing.
Research suggests that lack of sleep can comprise kids' immune systems as well as their ability to grow.
A study from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University offers even more reason to make sure your kids get enough sleep: children with the shortest sleep duration were a whopping 92 percent more likely to be overweight or obese.
It's not just your child's body that needs sleep: their brains also rely heavily on slumber. Scientists believe that while our bodies sleep, our brains also recharge. This means that sleeps allows your brain the enhanced ability to follow directions and make better decisions.

Lack of sleep, meanwhile, can lead to crankiness and the inability to think clearly.

How much sleep does your child need?

Everyone's sleep needs are different, but there's an easy way to tell if your child is getting enough rest. Watch your child in the morning and throughout the day. Kids that seem groggy may not be getting ample sleep. The Hospital for Sick Children has suggested the following guidelines:

  •  12 to 14 hours a night for toddlers under three years
  •  11 to 13 hours a night for ages three to five
  •  10 to 11 hours for ages five to 12
  •  8.5 to 9.5 hours for ages 12 to 18

If your child doesn't fall within these guidelines, lack of sleep may be the culprit for a variety of health and behavioural issues.

Encouraging healthy sleeping patterns

While sleep should come naturally to most kids, parents can help by setting an evening routine that includes a regular bedtime.
Regularly schedules activities like a warm bath or reading in bed can help the body acclimate to bedtime. It's also important to create an environment that fosters sleep: a cool, dark, room is best.
Avoid technology before bedtime, and keep electronics out of the bedroom, if possible.
Limit exercise and caffeine consumption before bedtime. Also important to remember: your child's bed should be designated exclusively for sleeping, not for other activities such as homework, talking on the phone or watching television

Easy sleep regime

A good routine for sleep is necessary in order for kids to reap benefits that lead to better preponderance at school and play. These easy tips will set you in the right direction.

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