Sometimes, as parents, you might find yourselves overlooking the fact that your kids might not be sleeping as early as they should be, especially as they get older and activities and homework have to be done and dusted before getting to bed. And sometimes the process of getting them into bed becomes so drawn out and painful, that giving an extra half hour seems reasonable for your sanity – after all, how long can you tolerate a child arguing to stay up that extra ten minutes?
Studies are showing that sleep is as important as food for kids; improper sleep habits not only have short term consequences but affect children into adulthood. Sleep it seems, affects everything from brain power to emotional and mental health, appetite and metabolism.
According to Marc Weissbluth, MD and author of Healthy Sleep Habit, Happy Child, “Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping well increases brainpower just as weight lifting builds stronger muscles.”
Well we just have to take a look at ourselves as adults to see how lack of sleep affects us; we can get cranky, aggressive, unreasonable, lethargic, find it hard to concentrate and make bad decisions. For children, it’s even worse.
Children depend on sleep for not only mental but physical growth; one study found that delaying bedtime by just one hour for kids aged between 8 and 12, impaired their emotional functioning, memory attention and math fluency. Another study in The Journal of Pediatrics, found a link between late sleeping as pre-schoolers to obesity as adolescents.
Keep Calm and get a Good Night’s Sleep from Team Mumzworld.