When it comes to kids, just how important is a regularly scheduled bedtime? Whether or not your child gets enough hours of sleep each night affects them in more ways than you might think. Helping your children to get better sleep can improve their health and their mindset.
“Regular sleep deprivation often leads to some pretty difficult behaviors and health problems—irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypertension, obesity, headaches, and depression. Children who get enough sleep have a healthier immune system, and better school performance, behavior, memory, and mental health.”
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Children
Children who regularly suffer from sleep deprivation often develop ongoing behavioral problems. You may find that your child becomes irritable and cranky, has trouble concentrating, and seems down or depressed. Clearly, this has a negative impact on children’s performance in school and on their ability to learn and retain new information.
A lack of sleep can also contribute to health problems in children. Children who don’t get enough sleep may have a weaker immune system, leaving them prone to colds and the flu — and even increasing their risk of oral health problems like gum disease. Headaches, obesity, and hypertension can all be related to a lack of sleep, too.
Sleep Is a Major Health Concern
Your child’s sleep habits determine more than whether they’re going to be crabby the next day. An effective amount of sleep is essential for your kids to function and do their very best. It’s not just about how they act, though. It’s about how they feel. Getting enough sleep is just as important to their health as eating a healthy diet and exercising. Their health doesn’t end at bedtime, and neither does yours.
Teaching good sleep habits early on will help your child maintain those sleep habits throughout his or her lifetime. Good sleep is important for ongoing mental and physical health, whether you’re 8 or 80 years old.
To learn more about how to make sure your whole family is getting enough sleep, refer to Healthy Sleep Habits: How Many Hours Does Your Child Need?