Value of a good night’s sleep

The Sun (Malaysia) - - URBAN PARENTING -

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

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