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Why Is Sleep Important For Children’s Health

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What Influences The Quality And Length Of Sleep

Importance of Sleep in Kids

Since sleep and wakefulness are influenced by different neurotransmitter signals in the brain, foods and medicines that change the balance of these signals affect whether we feel alert or drowsy and how well we sleep. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, and drugs such as diet pills and decongestants stimulate some parts of the brain and can cause insomnia, or an inability to sleep. Many antidepressants suppress REM sleep. Heavy smokers often sleep very lightly and have reduced amounts of REM sleep. They also tend to wake up after 3 or 4 hours of sleep due to nicotine withdrawal. Many people who suffer from insomnia try to solve the problem with alcohol the so-called night cap. While alcohol does help people fall into light sleep, it also robs them of REM and the deeper, more restorative stages of sleep. Instead, it keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep, from which they can be awakened easily.

We lose some of the ability to regulate our body temperature during REM, so abnormally hot or cold temperatures in the environment can disrupt this stage of sleep. If our REM sleep is disrupted one night, our bodies dont follow the normal sleep cycle progression the next time we doze off. Instead, we often slip directly into REM sleep and go through extended periods of REM until we catch up on this stage of sleep.

The Social Media Problem

While we know that screen time can disrupt kids sleep, social media may pose unique risks because of its influence on the reward centers of the brain, Kansagra said.

We live in an online world dominated by social media through which we not only consume content but can create it with a touch of a button, he said.

When you are watching or creating content, your brain is secreting chemicals like norepinephrine and dopamine, Kansagra said. These chemicals stimulate the wake centers of your brain, making it harder to fall asleep.

Social media also signals the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline and the stress hormone, cortisol, when a person checks social media, says Beatrice Tauber Prior, PsyD, a clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and owner of Harborside Wellbeing in North Carolina.

The last thing you want your child to experience is a surge in adrenaline and cortisol when they are trying to fall asleep, she told Healthline.

How Much Sleep Do Humans Need

The right amount of sleep largely depends on your age. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following daily sleep allotment for different age groups.

Age Group
    +7 Sources

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  • 2.National Institutes of Health. . Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Retrieved from
  • 3.National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. . Are You Getting Enough Sleep? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from
  • 4.National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute. . Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from
  • 5.B., R., & Born, J. . About Sleeps Role in Memory. Physiological Reviews, 93, 681766. Retrieved from
  • 6.

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What Are The Stages Of Sleep

During sleep, we usually pass through five phases: stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM sleep. These stages of sleepprogress in a cycle from stage 1 to REM sleep, then the cycle starts over again with stage 1. Children and adults spend almost 50 percent of their total sleep time in stage 2 sleep, about 20 percent in REM sleep, and the remaining 30 percent in the other stages. Infants, by contrast, spend about half of their sleep time in REM sleep.

Stage 1 Sleep

During stage 1, which is light sleep, we drift in and out of sleep and can be awoken easily. Our eyes move very slowly and muscle activity slows. People awakened from stage 1 sleep often remember fragmented visual images. Many also experience sudden muscle contractions called hypnic myoclonia or hypnic jerks, often preceded by a sensation of starting to fall. These sudden movements are similar to the jump we make when startled. Some people experience a sleep disorder known as Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep , where they experience recurring leg movements.

Stage 2 Sleep

When we enter stage 2 sleep, our eye movements stop and our brain waves become slower, with occasional bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles.

Stage 3 and Stage 4 Sleep

REM Sleep

Reasons Why 8 Hours Sleep Are Important For Health

7 Incredible Benefits of Sleep (Infographic)

Reasons why 8 Hours Sleep Are Important For Health. Many people neglect the importance of sleep. They often underestimate sleep schedule. As we know, many adults do not have a sleep schedule. They usually sleep only when they want it, like doing a little nap every few hours.

Just like the need for food, sleep is also very important for the body. Every people need to get adequate and good quality sleep. If the need of sleep is fulfilled, our body and mental will be healthier. If we have irregular sleep patterns, then, of course we will get the opposite. Sleeping with unclear patterns is not only bad for the body, but also very dangerous.

How do we know sleep is very important? Lets take an example. A baby will spend a lot of time for sleeping. But, why? Sleep helps the baby not only to rest, but also to grow. Whereas for adults, sleep serves to restore physical fatigue after a full day of activity. If our bodies are used continuously without any rest or time to recover, our bodies will not be as healthy and fit as before.

Sleep less than 8 hours for adults is certainly very influential. This can cause problems if it is done continuously. Lack of sleep can cause dangerous health problem such as Alzheimer, depression, and diabetic. Lack of sleep also affects the function of our body organs. It is very fatal, right?

Here are some consequences that we will face if we dont sleep 8 hours a day:

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So Important For Kids

This is a 3-minute read

How much sleep do kids need? The question crosses the mind of many parents who wonder if their child is getting enough rest amidst the homework, sports, after-school activities, and sleepovers and all the activities that fill up their kidsâ days.

While research points to all people being impacted by a lack of sleep, kids are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of a sleepless night because their bodies and brains are still developing.

To begin, letâs answer how many hours of sleep do kids need?

  • Newborns should get 14-17 hours
  • Infants should get 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers should get 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers should get 10-13 hours
  • School-aged children should get 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers should get 8-10 hours
  • Young adults should get 7-9 hours

While itâs different for every child, above is what sleepfoundation.org recommends. Talk to your pediatrician if you are concerned about your childâs sleep and worry that he is not getting enough sleep.

Tips For Healthy Sleep

What can you do? Foster good sleep habits in your child:

Set naptime and bedtime schedules for older babies and children. Newborns dont yet have day and night rhythms, and they need to wake frequently for feedings.

Schedule quiet time for 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime. Listen to soft music together, or read your child a story. Keep TV and other distracting electronics out of quiet time.

Establish a bedtime routine for after quiet time. Your babys might include activities such as a diaper change and brushing teeth.

After you tuck your child in, say goodnight, turn off the light, and leave the room.

Put children to bed awake so that they learn to fall asleep themselves.

Online Medical Reviewer: Desrosiers, Florence MD

Date Last Reviewed: 4/2/2010

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Tips For Getting Your Child To Sleep More

Just as children differ in their preferences and temperaments, some children fall asleep easily while others find sleep more elusive. Below are a few tips that may help your child fall asleep and stay asleep.

Set the stage. Kids engines tend to run hard all day long, but a slow-down period in the afternoon or evening is essential to peaceful sleep. Take a walk after dinner, read books together, or play quietly. This might not be the best time to have an all-out wrestling match. A warm bath can be very soothing, helping your child to relax and sleep.

Turn off technology. Screens emit blue light, which can actually rev up the brain and lead to trouble falling asleep. Additionally, television programs or games with bright colors, flashing lights, or songs stimulate children. Practice healthy technology use with children, turning off all screens at least an hour before bedtime or naptime. If you cant avoid computers, install software, such as t.lux for Windows and f.lux for Mac, that changes the light from blue-white to yellow in the evening to help children fall asleep faster, according to behavioral scientist Wendy Troxel.

Offer a snack. A high-protein snack, that is. Children often wake in the night because theyre hungry. Offering a snack rich in protein or complex carbs can give them the fuel they need to sleep through the night. Think cheese and whole-grain crackers, peanut butter on whole-wheat bread, yogurt, hummus and pitas, or a glass of milk.

What If My Child Regularly Has Trouble Falling Asleep

Why Sleep Is So Important for Kids Growth

Some children have trouble falling asleep on their own and can lay awake for long periods of time. This can be caused by too much screen time before bed, or caffeine from soda and energy drinks.

If these reasons arent the cause, talk to your doctor about other ways to help your child learn to fall asleep on their own.

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Sleep And Your Childs Health

Your children probably lead busy, energetic lives, no matter how old they are. But their growing minds and bodies require a healthy sleep pattern in order to function properly.

The benefits of good sleep are endless as mentioned in Helping New Year Nerves, sleep efficiency contributes significantly to improved grades in maths and languages. Unfortunately, studies have indicated that up to 7 out of 10 children dont get enough sleep, which can lead to temper tantrums, concentration and behavioural problems, and much more.

In this article, we look at why this is and how you can ensure your children get the best possible nights sleep. How does sleep affect your child?

Good Sleep Can Maximize Athletic Performance

Sleep has been shown to enhance athletic performance.

In a study on basketball players, longer sleep was shown to significantly improve speed, accuracy, reaction times, and mental well-being .

Less sleep duration has also been associated with poor exercise performance and functional limitation in older women.

A study in over 2,800 women found that poor sleep was linked to slower walking, lower grip strength, and greater difficulty performing independent activities (

Sleep quality and duration can have a major effect on many health risk factors.

These are the factors believed to drive chronic diseases, including heart disease.

A review of 15 studies found that people who dont get enough sleep are at far greater risk of heart disease or stroke than those who sleep 78 hours per night .


Sleeping less than 78 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

17 ).

In a study in healthy young men, restricting sleep to 4 hours per night for 6 nights in a row caused symptoms of prediabetes .

These symptoms resolved after one week of increased sleep duration.

Poor sleep habits are also strongly linked to adverse effects on blood sugar in the general population.

Those sleeping less than 6 hours per night have repeatedly been shown to be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes .


Sleep deprivation can cause prediabetes in healthy adults in as little as 6 days. Many studies show a strong link between short sleep duration and type 2 diabetes.

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When Should I Talk To My Doctor

  • Loud snoring: If your child regularly snores loudly, this can be a sign of a problem.
  • Sleepwalking: Sleepwalking is a disorder where a child is partly awake, but not completely, during the night. Your child may sit up in bed and repeat certain movements, such as rubbing their eyes. They may get out of bed and walk around the room. When you talk to your child, they usually wont answer you. If your child sleepwalks it is important that you ensure the area is safe. Gently guide your child back to bed without waking them. If the problem continues, contact your doctor.
  • Night terrors: These are different from nightmares. Children with night terrors scream uncontrollably, may breathe quickly, and seem to be awake. If you wake your child, they will likely to be confused, and may take longer to settle down and go back to sleep. Night terrors usually happen between the ages of 4 and 12, but can happen to children as young as 18 months old. Most children will outgrow them, but talk to your doctor if they persist.

The Development Of A Healthy Sleep Rhythm In Early Childhood

For kids, sleep is just as important as diet and exercise ...

The sleep patterns change with age during the first years of life. The characteristics of sleep-wakefulness states during early development originate from the rest-activity cycles in the fetus and the early months after birth. Sleep states are categorized as active sleep, quiet sleep, and indeterminate sleep in very young babies. By the second half of the first year, quiet sleep gradually transitions into NREM sleep, which could be further divided into 3 stages as outlined above. Meanwhile, the active sleep characterized by frequent muscle twitches and grimaces turns into REM sleep. After 6 months of age, the electronical patterns of NREM and REM sleep progressively resemble those seen in adults .

Not only sleep duration but also sleep architecture and sleep cycle change with age. The proportion of REM sleep dramatically decreases from birth through early childhood into adulthood . The proportion of deep sleep peaks in early childhood and then decreases over the lifespan. The ultradian cycle, which means the nocturnal cycle of sleep stages, is about 50 min in infancy and gradually increases to an adult level, about 90110 min, by school age .

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Why Do I Need To Sleep

Every creature needs to rest. Giraffes, little babies, elephants, dogs, cats, kids, koala bears, grandparents, moms, dads, and hippos in the jungle they all sleep! Just like eating, sleep is necessary for survival.

Sleep gives your body a rest and allows it to prepare for the next day. It’s like giving your body a mini-vacation. Sleep also gives your brain a chance to sort things out. Scientists aren’t exactly sure what kinds of organizing your brain does while you sleep, but they think that sleep might be the time when the brain sorts and stores information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems.

The amount of sleep a person needs depends a lot on his or her age. Babies sleep a lot about 14 to 15 hours a day! But many older people only need about 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night.

Most kids between the ages of 5 and 12 years old are somewhere in between, needing 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Some kids might need more and some need less. It depends on the kid.

Did you know:

  • Skipping 1 night’s sleep makes a person cranky and clumsy.
  • After missing 2 nights of sleep, a person will have problems thinking and doing things his or her brain and body can’t do their normal tasks nearly as well.
  • After 5 nights without sleep, a person will hallucinate .
  • Eventually, it becomes impossible for the brain to give its directions to the rest of the body without sleep the brain needs to spend time in bed and catch its ZZZs!

Important Factors For Establishing A Healthy Sleep Pattern During The First Years Of Life

Positive sleep practices are essential for establishing a healthy sleep pattern during the first years of life. Thus, it is recommended that parents start promoting good sleep hygiene by establishing a safe and comfortable sleep environment, a regular bedtime routine, and an appropriate sleep onset association starting from infancy, and throughout childhood .

Regular and Consistent Bedtime Routine

Having a regular and consistent bedtime routine is one of the critical steps to achieve good sleep hygiene and yield health benefits to young children. It provides them a sense of predictability and security and helps with activity transitions. Bedtime routines deliver external clues to children that sleep is coming and assist them in preparing for sleep mentally by being both predicable and calming. A bedtime routine should involve the same 34 calming and relaxing activities every night in the same order, e.g., warm bath, reading stories, singing lullabies, and listening to soft music. A pictorial representation of the bedtime activities is recommended for children at a younger age or developmentally delayed.

Safe and Comfortable Sleep Environment

Appropriate Sleep Onset Associations

Avoiding Media Exposure

Regular Daily Schedule of Activities with Appropriate Stimulations

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