Is sleep important to growing children?
We recently came across a fantastic article about the effect sleep on children, and their development. The article was featured in the Positive Health Wellness Blog – which focuses on articles about diet and nutrition, recipes, fitness, beauty and aging and more. The highlights are below.
Studies have demonstrated that children who don’t receive the proper amount of sleep have many problems, such as controlling their emotions. Others act out in naughty ways because their brains need the rest. They take risks, and as they get older, they can have problems with depression and anxiety.
Sleep is related to healthy growth.
Proper sleep has been linked to Studies have shown that those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be obese. This is the case for both children and adults. One study specifically looked at teenagers, who got one less hour of sleep than average. They were more likely to become obese than their regular sleeping counterparts.
During sleep, children produce cytokines, a type of protein. The body needs this to be able to fight off illnesses and infections. The proteins are produced more during illnesses to help promote sleep and encourage anyone to sleep more to fight off the illness. There is a cycle that Mother Nature has created to ensure our bodies fight off infections as much as possible instead of succumbing to them.
How Much Sleep do Children Need?
Newborns will need between 16 and 18 hours of sleep a day. This isn’t going to be in one sitting. Some will sleep through the night for 12 hours without a problem and then need a few one-hour naps throughout the day. Others will have four-hour naps with periods of awake on a regular basis.
As babies reach the three-monthstage, they need around 11-15 hours of sleep daily. Between four months and a year, that time drops to between 9 and 12 hours, and most will sleep through the night and just need a few naps throughout the day.
Toddlers and preschoolers do a lot of running around and growing. They will sleep between 11 and 14 hours a day, usually in one sitting throughout the night. Between the ages of 6 and 13, children need somewhere between 9 and 11 hours of sleep, and usually not with a nap in the day. They may have a nap if they are ill.
So is sleep important to growing children? We’ll say an unequivocal yes! All in all we found this article very interesting. We know sleep is important, but it often seems neglected. We make sure our kids eat properly, that they are safe but sometimes we may overlook the role that sleep plays in their health, well being and long term development! With that, we’re going to take a nap. With our kids.