Kids Advice: Goodnight’s Sleep

How a goodnight’s sleep can help your child to succeed.

If your child is having trouble at school, it would be worthwhile examining his or her sleeping habits because a lack of sleep can cause problems with mood, concentration, and the ability to function at optimum levels physically and intellectually. There’s currently sufficient evidence to show that adequate, restful sleep is vital to excellent performance at school. Those students who perform at higher levels in school and achieve greater academic success share the common habit of regular sleep habits which allow their brains time to rest and grow.

According to research everyone should receive at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. No matter what your child’s age, a regular, set bedtime is essential. A lack of sleep can have adverse effects on every aspect of the child’s life – physically and mentally. Studies have shown that sleep deprived children tend to be physically weaker as there’s a decrease in the amount of white blood cells in their body which weakens the body’s immune system and results in illness and absenteeism which negatively affects their grades. A lack of sleep can also lead to a reduced breakdown of proteins in the body which are essential for cellular growth and cellular repair and this can hinder a child’s essential growth processes. It’s also been proven that sleep is necessary for the brain to repair itself, grow, and make imperative connections. While your child sleeps, nerve signalling patterns that occurred during the day are mirrored and repeated during their sleep, encoding data, memory, and information, and improving learning. Therefore how well your child sleeps affects his physical health and has an impact on how well he learns.

Children who are sleep deprived are also more likely to have difficulties with learning. They can have trouble paying attention because of their difficulty focusing and are more likely to have behavioural issues. Because they’re tired, these children can miss important verbal lessons because of inattention or they may be unable to complete tasks in the classroom. It’s also harder for them to remember basic information such as how to spell words; where to find information on the internet or how to play a musical instrument – making it more difficult for them to learn.  It is important to remember that sleep is necessary for the brain to repair itself, grow, and make imperative connections. While your child sleeps, nerve signalling patterns that occurred during the day are mirrored and repeated during their sleep, encoding data, memory, and information, and improving learning.

In addition to getting plenty of sleep, it is important that children get quality sleep. Medical conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnoea, periodic limb movement disorder, nocturnal seizures or parasomnias can affect the quality of sleep and these must be diagnosed by professionals. In conclusion, it is vital for children to get a good quality and quantity of sleep each night. Once they have this, parents can be confident that their children can reach their optimum potential.

Basic reminders for developing better sleeping habits include
• Limiting the use of electronics before bedtime.
• Establishing a regular and consistent bedtime and wakeup time.
• Avoiding surgary foods and caffeinated drinks before bedtime.


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This article was published in the January 2016 issue of Inspire Living Magazine. Download it here!

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