As a child grows up, less and less of their time is spent sleeping. However, that may not be the healthiest thing for them. A child who sleeps well and deep, not only becomes well rested, but a whole lot healthier than one that is sleep deprived. Let’s delve in to the benefits of sleep and having a regular bedtime.
In ancient times, sleep was considered the ultimate source of health and wellbeing, nowadays it is taken for granted and some children don’t even understand why they suffer so much from so many ailments.
Children should have a strong foundation of sleep hours to make it through the day. Here is a suggested list of hours to follow. Ask the best pediatricians in Doha about the hours your child should sleep. Book an appointment today!
Benefits of Having Strict Bedtime
Strict in this sense doesn’t have to mean that you need to always and forever enforce this bedtime. Being understanding and lenient can help your child accept responsibility for their own bedtime when they grow up.
Good sleep = good heart
Studies have shown that a good night’s sleep can really affect your child’s circulation. Improving circulation will protect your child from lots of damaged arteries, vascular issues, and even maintaining healthy organ functions. Nowadays, children consume lots of food that contains sugar and cholesterol, they are the “spices” of these days. Sleep promoting healthy circulation can lower the risks of having damaging cholesterol and fight off diseases like diabetes, obesity, and even heart diseases.
Sleep is also known to promote growth and helps maintain weight. Growth hormones tend to be primarily secreted during deep sleep as most pediatricians agree. When we are done eating, our fat cells release the hormone leptin, which tells us to stop eating food. Not sleeping well, may affect this hormone directly. Children that don’t sleep enough will not only be more likely to be obese in the long-run but will also crave high carb and high fat foods that will keep their metabolism running slow and make them even more tired.
Book an appointment with your pediatrician if you sense your child is lacking sleep
When your child is throwing a tantrum, one of the ways you deal with it is you give them a time-out. Research suggests that allowing the child to soothe themselves actually may help them sleep better and better manage their mental health. Because sleep for your child is a time for growth, it is also a time for learning. While your child is in deep sleep, his/her mind is racing with thoughts and connections, making dreams from the familiar subconscious. Especially when going back to school, children require their intended hours of sleep to retain information that they learnt. Several studies have also shown that naps work to do just that breaking up the learning for the child from school to home life.
Sleep deprivation can also be the cause of many tantrums, mood swings, and overall lack of focus. This is due to the child’s physical rest needs not being met and they would suffer more emotional distress to make up for their physical tiredness.
Book an appointment with a specialized pediatrician if you sense your child is suffering from mood swings.
Physical stress/ strain
It is so hard to keep children healthy all the time, especially when they are spending most of their day at school. Stress and crankiness may not be all from school. We already found out that a child who is sleep deprived may have more emotional outburst and meltdowns but it is even more important for their physical wellbeing.
While we sleep our bodies produce cytokines, which are proteins that help your body fight infections and physical stress. Sleeping more may help your child fight diseases better than any medication. This is why when we suffer from infectious diseases like the flu, our body’s response is to make us feel sleepy. This is what this protein does to our body to help us fight, it lets us rest!
According to a recent study, sleep can help reduce injury, it said that “91 percent of kids who had two or more injuries in a 12-month period got fewer than nine hours of sleep per night.” Sleeping better can also promote healthy bones, better eating habits and less strain on the body as a whole.
Talk to your pediatrician about possible exercises to do before sleep.
Developing a good strict bedtime will definitely help your child have a more structured day. However, it doesn’t hurt to be a little lenient every once in a while. Allow your child to make their own bedtime in long holidays, this might help them feel a part of their own growth. It teaches discipline and routine that they are very unlikely to forget later on when life becomes more stressful.
Looser Bedtime Is No Problem Either
Some parents prefer not be very strict with their child, as they feel that might cause emotional distress. No worries, looser bedtime can actually help you connect with your child better. Of course, pediatricians suggest that having a strict bedtime early on in the child’s life will make the child appreciate the looser one later. Here are a few things that looser bedtime can cultivate:
Our children are talented, they may like to sing, dance, or even read. Looser bedtime allows them to tap into their creativity and see what they can do with it. Some may use it to create masterpieces of their school’s science projects, others may find ways to decorate their rooms. However, it is essential to explain to your child the importance of a good sleep.
It is at night that everyone at home may feel the coziest and safest. There are no distractions from the outside world, so our children have this time for our undivided attention. Take this opportunity to talk to your child. Feeling safe and secure allows your child to trust you further. Lie down next to your child and sing a little song, pray right before tucking them to bed, read them a bedtime story, or let them tell you about their day, letting go of issues will give your child a deeper worry-free sleep.
Ask the best pediatricians in Qatar about the best ways to allow your child to sleep.