You should give your children the best care in their formative years. The kind of habits that you help your child build while growing up shape his entire future. Apart from offering them proper nutrition, you should also focus on helping them build good sleep habits.
In the modern world, your child has a lot in his place. With so many things to take care of, proper sleep can often become hard to achieve. Now, you might think that it’s only a minor issue for your child. It can affect his overall development.
Let’s understand how important good sleeping habits are for children.
Getting a good night’s sleep allows your child to grow better – both mentally and physically. A night of proper sleep makes your child feel fresh and less irritable.
Here’s how quality sleep is important for a child’s physical and mental well-being.
- When your child gets proper sleep, he stays physically fit.
- Deep sleep allows a child’s body to repair and rejuvenate itself.
- Your child becomes more alert and focused on handling challenges that he comes across daily.
- During sleep, your child’s body releases growth hormones. So, a child can grow at a much faster pace if he sleeps well.
- A good sleep makes your child well-rested.
- They maintain a healthier weight by sleeping enough.
- Proper sleep also ensures that your child’s immune system strengthens and performs better.
Prioritizing your child’s sleep should be your main concern. If you do not pay attention to how much sleep your child gets, you might end up compromising his immunity. His growth might slow down and he might even find it difficult to focus on his routine task.
Studies have also shown that a lack of proper sleep can often lead to obesity. Thus, you must ensure that your child is well-rested so that his body functions perfectly.
Good sleep does not have only physical benefits for a child. It provides various mental benefits too.
- A child who sleeps sufficiently is often more patient. Such a child has a better ability to handle his emotions and frustration in a much better way.
- Good sleep habits help reduce stress in a child. If your child is well rested, he can cope with his school stress or peers easily.
- Quality sleep helps in developing a student. So, your child develops better problem-solving and decision-making skills if his mind is fresh after a good sleep.
- As a result of good sleep, children often display good behaviour. They act less disruptively and do not exhibit challenging behaviour. Thus, it’s much easier for you to handle them as they grow up.
- Proper sleep can reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. A well-rested mind can develop resilience to fight these issues.
- Your child develops a positive self-image since he wakes up feeling fresh every day. He develops the confidence to tackle the day with strength.
So, if you promote good sleeping habits in your child, you’ll help them grow mentally. Your child will feel more emotionally stable and his mind will be in the best state.
Now you know that good sleeping habits are an absolute necessity for your kid. But It’s also important that you know the duration for which a child should sleep.
Let us now take a look at the guidelines for the number of hours a child should sleep at night.
The recommended duration of sleep for a child varies according to his/her age:
- Infants: Kids between the ages of 0 to 3 months need a good sleep of 14-17 hours every day. But infants do not sleep all these hours at one stretch. They sleep in shorter durations spread throughout the day.
- Babies: The ideal sleep duration for babies between 4 months to 11 months is 12-15 hours per day.
- Toddlers: Usually, toddlers sleep for 11-14 hours every night. Some toddlers might also take daytime naps.
- Preschoolers: Children between the ages of 3 to 5 years need 10-13 hours of sleep.
- School-age children: For children falling within the age group of 6-12 years, 9-12 hours of sleep suffice.
- Teenagers: Teenagers who fall in the age group of 13 to 18 years need 9-10 hours of sleep.
If your child develops poor sleep habits, it might prove detrimental to his overall health. They’ll feel more anxious and tired. Children who do not get adequate sleep struggle to keep up with the academic pressures and their daily routines.
Apart from the regular health problems that come with inadequate sleep, your child will be at risk of developing chronic health or other pediatric problems. For example, poor sleeping habits are one reason why people develop diabetes or heart disease.
Here are some tips you can use to build good sleep habits in your child.
- First, pick a consistent bedtime routine for your kid. Make the child go to sleep at the same time every day. It will help his body to develop an internal clock and they’ll fall asleep easily.
- Get them to engage in more physical activities. Instead of letting them play video games on their Xbox all day long, encourage them to play outdoor sports. When they engage in vigorous activities, they’ll feel sleepy by the end of the day.
- Don’t let your child have heavy meals before bedtime as it may disrupt their sleep.
- Try to limit the screen time of your kid. If possible, don’t let them use their phone at all at least 2 hours before their scheduled sleep time.
Good sleeping habits are your child’s lifelong companion to help them maintain good health. When they sleep properly, they prepare themselves to face the day ahead with positivity.
If you build good sleeping habits at a child’s early age, they try to maintain these habits forever. So, they grow better, learn better, and stay more vigilant and mentally fit.
Of course, there can be many distractions that come in the way of helping your child get quality sleep. But you can always work out some ways to remove these distractions and help them sleep better.