Why Kids Need Sleep

Many parents know that a good night’s sleep can cut down the frequency of colds and possible emotional meltdowns, but did you know that there are a plethora of other reasons your kids need more sleep NOW?

  1. Promotes Growth – Growth hormones are primarily secreted when children sleep, which is why babies are programmed to enter into deep sleep more than 50% of the time. Studies show that children with deficient growth hormone levels, sleep less than those with average levels.

  2. Promotes Heart Health – Children that don’t sleep well, exhibit more brain arousal, which triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response. When glucose and cortisol levels are elevated at night, it can cause either childhood or adulthood diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

  3. Promotes Health Weight – Too little sleep can cause children to become overweight. Parents that soothed infants using swinging or swaddling instead of only reaching for bottles encouraged a healthier weight in their children. Our bodies are designed to create the hormone leptin when we are full. Studies indicate that sleep deprivation may affect this hormone. Well-rested children eat differently than those that are tired, opting for higher fat or higher carbohydrate foods.

  4. Promotes a Healthy Immune System – During the sleep process, the body produces proteins that help us fight illness, infection and stress. That’s why battling a cold makes us feel tired, and it forces our body to slow down and rest. Sleep helps us produce these necessary hormones that can help us fight infections and illness.

  5. Reduces Injuries – If you’ve ever watched kids on a playground, it’s obvious they’re clumsier than adults, and also exhibit more impulsive behaviors when they don’t get enough sleep. Studies also show that up to 91% of children who experienced more than two injuries in a 12-month span, got fewer than nine hours of sleep.

  6. Increases Attention Span – Children that get fewer than 10 hours of sleep before age three are up to three times more likely to be diagnosed or treated for impulsivity problems or hyperactivity by the time they reach six.

  7. Increases Learning – Sleep helps children of all ages learn. In one study, 40 preschoolers played a game similar to “Memory.” The kids then took a nap for one week and then had to stay awake the second week. The comparison between the two weeks was when the children didn’t take a nap, they forgot up to 15% of what they learned, compared to comprehending everything when they took a nap.

Experts also recommend that children avoid electronic devices for up to two hours before bedtime to help keep their bodies in harmony with their natural circadian rhythm. If children cannot avoid blue light emitting devices before bedtime, experts recommend they wear blue light blocking glasses, such as Gamer Advantage Lenses.