Think back to when your children were newborns. They slept a lot, right? All that time spent in sweet slumber was what they needed to grow and develop. But what about when they grow older? Do they still need a lot of sleep? The answer is yes. Kids need far more sleep than adults and if they don’t get it, it can hamper their physical and mental health. It can also lead to ‘adult’ conditions like high blood pressure and even depression. Children who don’t have an enforced bedtime can also develop childhood insomnia, which only paves the way for the conditions we just mentioned. A poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than 2 out of 3 children under the age of 10 have experienced a sleep problem. As a parent, it’s very important to make sure that your kids get all the sleep they need.
The human growth hormone (HGH) is mainly released during sleep, especially during deep sleep stages. It promotes growth in kids and teens. It also has other functions like maintaining healthy body tissue and regulating body composition and fluids. Kids who don’t sleep enough may see their development hampered over time as the growth hormone is suppressed.
A healthy immune system is important to keep infections and diseases away. While sleep isn’t a singular factor in maintaining a robust immune system, it plays a crucial role. During sleep, proteins called cytokines are produced. Their number goes up when fighting infections. When kids (and adults) don’t get enough sleep, the number of cytokines produced falls and the body finds it difficult to ward off foreign agents. Some cytokines also promote sleep, which explains why we feel sleepy when we catch a cold or the flu. Fighting infection is stressful and tiring too so the body compels us to rest while it gets to work.
Sleeping children look peaceful and at rest but their brains undergo changes that are important for boosting memory and learning. In a 2017 study by the University of Arizona, researchers found that kids who napped within an hour of learning verbs could retain them better over the following 24-hour period.
In another study by the University of Tübingen, children between the ages of 8 and 11 years were examined to see if they could form explicit knowledge through an implicitly-learned task. They learned to guess a predetermined series of actions and their memories were tested. After a night’s sleep, both age groups were able to remember a larger number of elements compared to those who had remained awake. This ability to form explicit knowledge was linked with the considerable amount of deep sleep children get.
I used to believe I was just a bad sleeper, until I bought my first NUVANNA bed! I haven’t slept this well in years, or possibly ever! I could not be more excited about the quality of this bed and the improvements it has brought to my sleep! This is an investment that you will not regret.
Sleep improves mood in kids and adults. That crankiness you feel after a poor night’s sleep is what kids mirror when they don’t sleep enough. They can become impulsive and distracted, which can affect their ability to learn, remember things, and do well at school. And for parents, dealing with happy, focused kids is a lot more welcome!
Like adults, children who don’t get enough sleep can be at risk for weight gain and obesity. A study by the University of Warwick found that kids and teens who sleep less than others are more likely to gain weight as they get older. Over 75,000 people aged between 0 and 18 years were followed for 3 years and their body mass index (BMI) was recorded. At all ages, those who slept less gained weight and were 58 percent more likely to be overweight or obese. Excess weight can lead to a number of health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Sleep is not something that can be compromised on, especially for children. Bedtime routines and wind-down time can create structure around sleep. Kids learn what to expect when sleep time comes and find it easier to fall asleep. A comfortable bed is also important as it keeps them asleep.
The Nuvanna mattress is both comfy and supportive and can help kids sleep better. It’s designed by a materials scientist and features three layers that come together to improve sleep. The top layer regulates body temperature with the help of phase-changing gel particles. It’s common for children to sweat at night so this is the perfect remedy. The middle layer isolates motion by preventing one person’s movements from disturbing the other’s sleep – which is great if your child shares a bed with a sibling. The bottom layer provides even support to the body and prevents sinking.
Sleep is so closely tied to children’s health but we often forget that. The occasional night of poor sleep is to be expected but frequent sessions need to be addressed. We know the importance of sleep for adults so it’s not difficult to imagine just how significant it is for growing children. Parents need to set sleep times for their kids and help them follow them. Regular bedtimes strengthen the circadian rhythm – a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle – and helps kids get the sleep they need.