Sleep plays an important role in all our lives, but especially for our children. Ensuring your child gets the right amount of high-quality sleep every night can help them to develop and grow, both physically and mentally. If your child is not a great sleeper, don’t panic! There are ways that you can help. From making sure that you have a comfortable mattress for your child, to creating the perfect, soothing bedtime routine. Read on to find out more about how sleep can impact your child’s health.
Ensuring that your child is getting a good night’s sleep is essential for growing their bodies and minds. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and recover, so making sure that your child is getting a deep sleep means that they can grow and adapt as they should. It is also said that children that have a low level of the growth hormone sleep less deeply. You may even notice that your child looks taller in the morning than they did the previous night, and as unlikely as that may seem, it could be true! There is a reason that children tend to feel more growing pains during the night…
Boosts immune system
Sleep is a natural immune booster. For adults as well as children, a good night’s rest goes hand in hand with beating those nasty germs. During sleep, our bodies produce a protein that helps to fight infection and illness, so the more you sleep, the more chance our bodies have of protecting us from germs. Illness can sometimes make us feel tired, this is our body’s way of telling us to rest to aid healing. Studies have shown that in teens, frequent illnesses like colds tend to decline with a period of deep, good quality sleep, so making sure your child is spending enough time resting is key when it comes to staying healthy.
Increased attention span
Attention span is vital for children as they’re growing and learning. When we sleep, we’re not just resting our bodies, but our brains too. It is said that when your child is in a deep sleep, their brains are sorting through information they’ve heard throughout the day and storing it as long-term memories, which could be anything from how to solve a maths problem to how to tie a knot. Deep sleep is great for helping important information take hold, but it is also good for improved concentration throughout the day so that they can focus on tasks and carry out their learning, feeling calm and focused.
How to help your child
If your child is struggling to sleep soundly, and you’re finding that it is having a negative impact, there are a few things that you can do to help, and they might not be too different to how you help yourself get to sleep!
Create a routine
Creating a routine means that your child can wind down for bed. A constant, unchanging bedtime routine signals to them that it’s time to start getting ready to rest. Doing this means you can avoid any excitement that may keep your child awake too close to bedtime, and it means that you can make sure they’re getting the same amount of sleep each night. You should make sure the routine lasts no more than 30-40 minutes, and that your child’s bedtime is no later than 9pm.
As adults, reading before we go to sleep can be a relaxing way for us to unwind, and it’s the same for kids! Reading your child a bedtime story is a good way of soothing and relaxing them, ready to send them off into a restful night’s sleep. It can help them learn and creates a calm atmosphere for them to drift off.
Create a sleepy atmosphere
Make sure your child’s room is providing them with the best environment to fall asleep in. You should ensure that the room is not too hot or too cold so that they become restless during the night. You should also make sure that there’s no light seeping through any crack in the curtains that could be a signal to their brains that it’s time to wake up, especially in the summer months when the nights are shorter. Ensuring your child’s room is comfortable and cosy is the best way to ensure an undisturbed sleep.