Why kids need enough sleep

Sleep is very important . Net photo.

You need food to keep strong and healthy, and sleep is also important. Kids need to sleep early so that they are able to wake up willingly. A child who has slept enough is a happy child.

Sleep helps kids feel fresh after a busy day of playing, studying, and engaging in a number of activities. Since their bodies are tired, all they need is to sleep so that their bodies can rest enough for the next day.

Some scientists think that the brain sorts through and stores information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems while you sleep. Experts agree that most kids need 10 or 11 hours each night. Sleep is an individual thing and some kids need more than others.

When kids don’t have enough time to rest, they may feel tired or be unable to think clearly.

Experts say that sleep protects kids from vascular damage due to circulating stress hormones and arterial wall damaging cholesterol.

There’s increasing evidence that getting too little sleep causes kids to become overweight, starting in infancy.

Research finds that 18-month-olds with later bedtime hours are at a higher risk for motor, language and social deficits. A late bedtime can also negatively affect your child’s alertness and, as a result, their performance in school.

The dos and don’ts

Let your child go to bed at the same time every night; this helps their bodies get into a routine. Follow a bedtime routine that is soothing, such as taking a warm bath or reading.

Limit foods and drinks that contain caffeine. These include some sodas and other drinks, as they might keep kids hyper.

Don’t have a TV in your room. Research shows that kids who have screens in their rooms sleep less. Supervise kids so that they don’t watch scary TV shows or movies close to bedtime because these can sometimes make it hard for them to fall asleep, or even give them nightmares.

Don’t allow kids to exercise at night, rather, let them do so during the day; earlier exercises will help kids sleep better.

Let kids just go to bed to sleep but not to play, talk or do homework. This will enable them to just focus on sleep.

If your child finds it hard to sleep, read them a story or sing them a lullaby. They will eventually get sleep.

Recognise sleep problems in your child. Signs of sleep problems include difficulty falling asleep, night-time awakenings, snoring, stalling and resisting going to bed, having trouble breathing during sleep, and loud or heavy breathing while sleeping. Sleep problems can be obvious in daytime behaviour as well. If your child seems overtired, sleepy, or irritable during the day, you need to inform the doctor.

If it is hard for your child to get sleep at a certain age, it could be due to emotional issues, lifestyle changes, or hormonal variations. Helping your child develop healthy sleep habits early may help fight some of these issues, but if sleeping problems persist, or if you think that your kid may be dealing with insomnia or another sleep problem, you should seek professional help.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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