Value of a good night’s sleep
AN ADEQUATE amount of sleep has been found to be linked to good health and emotional well-being for your child.
Children who have slept well are usually happier whereas, children who lack sleep may be grumpy, inattentive and moody.
Sleep is important for your child’s proper brain development and physical growth.
While children sleep, their brain is forming new pathways to help them learn and remember information the next day.
Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Sleep triggers the body to release a growth hormone called somatotrophin that promotes normal growth in children.
Therefore, when children do not achieve their full sleep requirement, their physical growth might be affected.
Some researchers also believe that sleep improves learning. They suggest that sleep helps in processing daytime experiences, and transferring information to long-term memory.
Therefore, when children have inadequate sleep, they may not store the important information they learnt during the day into their long-term memory.
A study by Johns Hopkins University also found that children who sleep less stand a higher chance of being overweight as compared to children who have adequate sleep.
When children do not get enough sleep, their body releases the hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger. Hence, they are more likely to eat sugary food, which may increase the risk of obesity.
The amount of sleep needed varies from one individual to another.
Generally, children need more sleep than adults with newborns up to three months old needing around 14 to17 hours of sleep.
Babies around four to 11 months should sleep around 12 to 15 hours while toddlers aged one to two years old should get around 11 to 14 hours of sleep.
Meanwhile, children of preschool age (between three and five years) should sleep around 10 to 13 hours a day. – Agencies