Sleep is important part of our lives, even if we do not realize that timely. Getting quality shuteye is not only important for to wake up refreshed the next day, but getting sufficient sleep is pertinent for health as well. Whereas adults need 7-9 hours of sleep, the requirement for children is higher.
Infants need around 12-16 hours of sleep, whereas toddlers need 11-14 hours of quality shuteye. As we grow, the requirement decreases; preschoolers need 10-13 hours of sleep and lightly older kids need to sleep for 9-12 hours. For adolescents, 8-10 hours of sleep are required.
Implications of not sleeping enough
When the body does not get requisite sleep, it faces issues in the short as well as the long term. In the former, children get cranky, groggy, have reduced reflexed. They made doze off at school too.
In the long term, children getting insufficient sleep are more likely to suffer from obesity. Being overweight has implications for not just the physical health, that then has the parents running to the Best Child specialist in Lahore, but it also leads to emotional and psychological problems.
Overweight children are more likely to face bullying and name calling. They are ostracized and mocked. They also suffer from poor self-image, and extreme cases may also resort to eating disorders then.
Similarly, lack of sufficient sleep also increases the likelihood for behavioral and learning problems that haunt children for years to come.
Therefore, it is vital that parents pay attention to the sleep routine of their children and take steps to ensure that their child gets appropriate amount of sleep.
Ways to help your child sleep
No screens in bed
Living in a digital age, it is not a surprise that screens have become ubiquitous. However, they also emit blue light, that are high in energy, and thus signal the body into wakefulness.
When children use the screens just before bedtime, their mind is riled up, and they feel fresh. Sleep then is hard to come by in that case.
Thus, make sure that you do not give your children screen before bedtime. Incorporate healthier habits like reading instead.
Have a sleep routine
Humans are creatures of habit. Thus, focus of forming a good sleep habit. Make sure that children are tucked into bed at a fixed time and woken up on a specific time as well. Over few weeks, body will be conditioned into this routine.
It will make is possible for children to feel drowsy near their bedtime and wake up at their normal routine as well.
Moreover, make sure that bedtime accommodates for the time it takes children to fall asleep. Naturally, one has to be lulled into sleeping. Account for this extra time, to ensure that your child gets the requisite sleep.
Keep to the same routine during holidays and weekends, as changing the sleep timings will make it difficult for the children to keep a healthy sleep routine.
Creating the environment
It is vital that you create the atmosphere conducive to sleep. Naturally, when there it too much noise and sharp lights, your child will be less inclined to sleep.
Therefore, make sure that you dim down the lights at night. Ensure that your house is silent and there is no loud noise that prevents children from falling asleep or leads to disruption in their sleep.
Your children must know that sleep is non-negotiable. Just as chores, school, homework etc. are things that the parents will not compromise on, following sleep routine is not something that the parents will bend on.
If your child faces issues with sleeping, suffers from recurrent bed-wetting episodes, or gets nightmares that impose on their sleep time and quality, it is recommended that you visit the Best Child specialist in Islamabad for help.