Children & Sleep

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Children and sleep

Sleep is an essential component of your child’s mental and physical well-being. But you’re not alone if you’re having trouble getting your child to sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 25 to 50 percent of children and 40 percent of adolescents have sleep disorders.

Understanding your children’s sleep needs is the first step toward improved sleep for them. By combining sleep hygiene, age-appropriate routines, and paying close attention to any sleep issues, you can help your child receive the rest they need to grow up strong and healthy.

Why Is It So Important For Children To Get Enough Sleep?

According to studies, children who get enough sleep regularly have better attention, behavior, learning, memory, and general mental and physical health. Conversely, sleep deprivation can result in high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression.

What is the significance of sleep?

Sleep is a necessary function that helps your body and mind to replenish, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and alert. Healthy sleep also aids in the body’s wellness and illness prevention. The brain cannot function correctly if it does not get adequate sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) conducted two surveys of parents about their children’s sleep habits and found that demographics play a significant role in how kids sleep. Here is what the Foundation learned:

Ages 12-18 Months

43 percent of toddlers sleep at least 10 hours per night; 38 percent report sleeping 11 to 12 hours per night; 23 percent claim they get eight hours of shut-eye. (Parents think their youngsters should be getting even more rest. 57 percent say their child under two years old needs at least 14 hours of sleep each day.)

Nearly half (46 percent) of toddlers take one or more naps daily, but 23 percent nap just once a day, 20 percent are napping twice daily, and 15 percent are taking three daytime snoozes.

Ages 3-5 Years Old

58 percent of preschoolers are sleeping at least 10 hours per night; 30 percent claim to be catching nine or fewer zzzs nightly. (Only five percent of parents think their kids should sleep that little!)

More than half (54 percent) of preschoolers take one to two naps during the day. Some 33 percent snooze once a day, 24 percent have an afternoon siesta twice a day, and 5% grab three daytime shut-eyes.

Ages 6-12 Years Old

65 percent of kids aged six to 12 fall asleep within 30 minutes of hitting the sack; 34 percent take an hour or more to drift off.

Most older children (60 percent) are logging 10 hours of sleep nightly, but some 42 percent are getting 11 or even more zzzs. Only six percent sleep less than seven hours daily.

Preschoolers seem to be the group least likely to have a regular bedtime. Only 18% are getting ready for bed between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. While 26% go to bed after 8 p.m. 46% don’t have a specific bedtime at all. Children aged 6-12 years tend to maintain earlier bedtimes 31 % go to sleep by 8 pm, 25 percent at 9 p.m., and 17 % at 7:30 p.m.

What is a child sleep?

Every 24 hours, they sleep for 14-17 hours. However, they may wake up after a sleep cycle and want assistance in returning to sleep, babies between the ages of three and six months. Babies begin to develop night and day sleep habits around three months, and they tend to sleep more at night. Every 24 hours, babies usually sleep for 12-15 hours.

When Children Don’t Get Enough Sleep, What Happens?

As any parent knows, a sleep-deprived child can alternate between being cranky and hyperactive, with symptoms that can be mistaken for ADHD. Sleepiness can also hinder your child’s ability to pay attention, which can impact their academic achievement. Even minor sleep deprivation might harm your child’s day-to-day activities.

According to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), a quarter of children under the age of five do not receive enough sleep, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This is concerning because lack of sleep in children has been associated with allergic rhinitis17, immune system issues, anxiety, and depression. In addition, sleep deprivation in children has also been linked to future cardiovascular risks such as obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Inadequate sleep in teens can have long-term consequences for academic performance and mental health. Chronic sleep loss in teenagers is considered a public health hazard by the American Medical Association, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. It increases the chance of substance abuse and mental health issues, and more urgent matters, including vehicle accidents and sports injuries.

Tips for getting a good night’s sleep

Each night, do the same soothing activities in the same order and at the same time to encourage excellent sleep, follow the tips mentioned below for an amazing night’s sleep for children:

  • Create a bedtime ritual.
  • Before going to bed, unwind.
  • Maintain a consistent sleeping and waking schedule.
  • Older children’s naps should be taken early and for a short period.
  • Ascertain that your youngster feels secure at night.
  • Inspect your child’s room for noise and light.
  • It’s best to stay away from the clock.
  • Consume the appropriate amount of food at the proper time.

What should I know about toddlers and preschoolers and sleep?

Toddlers

Throughout 24 hours, children aged 1-2 years should sleep 11-14 hours. This can be split between sleeping at night and taking a nap or two throughout the day. It may take a few weeks of trial and error to figure out what works best for your toddler.

Preschoolers

Sleep helps your children develop strong and healthy (ages 3 to 5). Most children this age require between 10 and 13 hours of sleep throughout 24 hours and at least one afternoon nap. Older children may not require any naps at all.

How do sleep requirements change as a child grows older and enters preschool?

Toddlers

Naps are usually reduced to once a day, lasting up to three hours, by the end of the second year. Between the ages of 2 and 3, most toddlers transition from cribs to beds. Bedtime is something that many toddlers dread. 

They do not want to be away from their parents or guardians, nor do they want to miss out on any of the enjoyable things they believe will occur. Bedtime reluctance, night awakenings, and difficulties returning to sleep are all common sleep issues at this age. Nighttime worries and nightmares are examples of other problems.

Preschoolers

Napping becomes less common as preschoolers get older, yet most preschoolers can still benefit from a nap. Establishing a defined pattern for napping or a simply quiet or relaxing time in the child’s bedroom is the best method. Even if your child cannot sleep, try to schedule some “quiet time” for your child in the early afternoon. 

A daily time commitment of around an hour is sufficient. During the preschool years, sleep issues are typical. Resisting sleep and waking up frequently at night are examples of these issues. Nighttime fears, nightmares, sleepwalking, and sleep terrors are also frequent during the preschool years.

Children’s Sleep Issues

A new sibling, teething, an illness, a change in location, a new caregiver, a change in schedule, or minor complaints like allergies, colds, and ear infections can all have an impact on your child’s sleep.

In addition to these frequent issues, up to 50% of youngsters suffer from sleep disturbances at some point in their lives. Sleep difficulties are inextricably linked to mental and physical health problems, increasing the other in a difficult-to-break cycle. Furthermore, some sleep problems are not visible to the sleeper or may mimic other conditions such as epilepsy, making diagnosis difficult.

Night terrors and nightmares, sleep apnea, sleep talking and sleepwalking, snoring, and restless leg syndrome are the most prevalent sleep disorders in children.

The importance of sleep in child development

According to studies, children who get enough sleep regularly have better attention, behavior, learning, memory, and general mental and physical health. Conversely, sleep deprivation can result in high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression.

Tips for Children’s Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is influenced by what you do during the day. Following these simple sleep hygiene standards can help your children get a good night’s sleep:

  • Creating a well-balanced schedule with rest and play periods in between maintaining a consistent bedtime
  • Even during the day, make the bedroom, especially the mattress, a no-screen zone.
  • Providing a nutritious diet
  • Reduce the temperature on the thermostat by a few degrees.
  • Blocking away light with dark drapes or a nightlight if they’re afraid of the dark
  • Using a white noise machine to cover outside noises or keeping the bedroom quiet
  • Before bedtime, avoid coffee, heavy meals, and sugary snacks, opting instead for a nutritious night snack if necessary.

It’s crucial to provide your child with some exercise daily, but don’t overdo it in the hopes of getting them to sleep better at night. This will most likely make them overtired, making it challenging to go asleep. Instead, recognize the specific amount of hyperactivity that indicates your toddler is overtired so you can put them to bed before things get out of hand.

Baby sleeping tips

Very young babies rarely sleep through the night because they have yet to develop a circadian rhythm, which is perfectly normal. If they don’t go asleep again on their own, try comforting them with words or touch without picking them up. 

If they keep crying, they may be hungry or need a diaper change. Repair the problem quickly and discreetly, if possible using only a nightlight, and then leave the room calmly.

Toddler sleep advice

Two naps per day supplement sleep for young toddlers. Separation anxiety and a dread of missing out compound toddler sleep problems, leading to stalling tactics and intransigence at bedtime.

You can reduce these concerns by allowing children to make fundamental decisions such as what pajamas to wear or what book to read. Because power battles are likely to provoke a more robust response from them, try to be patient, firm, and compassionate.

School-age children’s sleep advice

School-aged children generally have hectic academic, social, and extracurricular activities, making it difficult to get a whole night’s sleep.

Therefore, try to keep a consistent schedule and a wind-down period before bedtime if at all possible. If feasible, have them complete homework or other activities in another room to strengthen the link between the bedroom and sleep.

Teenage sleeping advice

Teenagers’ circadian rhythms are scheduled to be later30, which can cause issues with school start timings. You may assist your teen by recognizing the increased demands on their time and working together to develop a healthy sleep pattern that fits their needs.

When it comes to sleeping, teenagers appear to follow their parents to some extent, so one of the best things you can do to help them create a healthy sleep routine is to keep one yourself.

The morning is also crucial. While it may be tempting to let your children sleep in on weekends, this will disrupt their sleep routine and make it more difficult for them to wake up during the week. If you discover that extracurricular activities interfere with their sleep, try not to overschedule them.

Whether you’re following good sleep hygiene and your child is still tired or has difficulties falling or staying asleep at night, it’s time to consult a doctor to check if they have a sleep disorder. 

You could also request that their teacher keep you informed about their concentration levels. It’s possible that they’re not getting enough sleep if they’re having trouble concentrating, behaving hyperactively, or have learning issues.

What to give a child to help them sleep?

Your doctor may prescribe melatonin or a sedative to assist your child in sleeping if they have trouble sleeping. The doctor will most likely recommend that your child use the sleep medicine for a few days or months, in conjunction with behavioural techniques, to improve their sleeping habits.

Does honey help you sleep?

Honey might help you relax and sleep better at night. Honey’s natural sugar elevates our insulin somewhat, allowing tryptophan, the substance responsible for making us sleepy after Thanksgiving turkey, to enter our brains more easily.

Is it healthy to sip hot water with honey in the evening?

Honey can be used for sugar because it is a natural sweetener. In addition, honey contains amino acids, minerals, and vitamins that assist reduce weight gain by inhibiting cholesterol and fat absorption. For optimal benefits, drink a mixture of honey and warm water on an empty stomach as soon as you get up in the morning.

Conclusion

Despite the many demands of children’s lives, they need to get a healthy amount of sleep. A lack of sleep can lead to obesity, behavioral issues, learning difficulties, and poor academic performance. There are several ways mentioned above in which you can help your child build good sleeping habits. 

Parents who aren’t particularly strict about enforcing their child’s bedtime may find that they do better on tasks if they go to bed earlier. However, because these tasks often require concentration and working memory, which is adversely affected by lack of sleep, the results suggest that allowing kids to stay up late every night may be doing them more harm than good. So, in the long run, parents should consider putting their children to bed about an hour earlier than usual if they intend on letting them play video games or use a computer late at night.

Parents must enforce a regular bedtime routine and maintain a comfortable sleeping environment for children to get enough sleep. Parents should also ensure that their child gets enough time to complete their school work before bed.

Parents who wish to improve their children’s academic performance should consider enforcing a weekend curfew and maintaining earlier bedtimes during the weekdays. Parents can also help by limiting distractions or ensuring that tasks requiring concentration are done in another room.

We hope you liked this guide about “CHILDREN AND SLEEP”. If you have any queries related to this specific topic, don’t hesitate to comment below.

Ask Ameer

Ask Ameer

Ameer is the content director of Sleepingmentor, which means he not only reviews new mattresses, bedsheets, pillows, and mattress toppers every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, reviews pages, and vs pages on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews. He covers sleep science by researching a lot on Google and finding meaningful content which entertains his users.

The product pictures used in this article are taken from Amazon.com, Inc. We are just using them so our users can make better decisions. This will save their time by seeing how the product looks like. Cheers 🙂

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