Sleep is our saviour. It’s the silent tonic, our rest and repair. As adults we are slaves to a good night’s sleep and those of us who aren’t lucky enough to always enjoy such a luxury will stop at nothing until we do!
So if we are so obsessed with the idea of uninterrupted slumber, knowing exactly how the lack of sleep affects our mood, energy levels and performance, spare a thought for our growing children. They have developing minds and bodies to cope with not to mention school work, extracurricular activities and any other ‘life pressures’ that little ones so often feel but can’t articulate.
The one thing that will help them through it all, is sleep.
Your child will benefit from a good night’s sleep in the following ways:
- Improved concentration, making school an easier place to be!
- A boost in emotional and mental health thanks to sleep’s detoxifying benefits
- Better responsiveness and memory - Research at the Children's Hospital of Michigan showed that good quality sleep could enable more effective learning
- Stronger immune system - Lack of sleep can suppress your immune system making you vulnerable to infections
- Normal growth and bodily development
- Helps prevent weight gain and depression
- Quicker reflexes
- Looking and feeling fresh
- If your child sleeps better so do you, resulting in a happier home all round!
Navigating the bedtime battlefield!
So now you know how sleep can improve every aspect of your child’s life it’s time to toughen up and stay firm on bedtimes and routines.
Children will inevitably fight to stay up during some stage in their lives, at which point you must stick to your guns! As parents we know that with tired minds come mood swings, so bear that in mind when you concede to that extra half hour in front of the TV.
With the holidays fast approaching, it might seem hard to say no to a later bedtime when there’s nothing to get up for in the morning. But for younger children especially, it’s better to stick to routine to avoid such pitfalls as longer daytime naps which in turn can disrupt eating patterns and play time.
What the experts say
Though it may prove challenging to get your child to bed on time during the holidays, those in the know agree that good sleep hygiene is essential for healthy growth and development.
The Millpond Children’s Sleep clinic recommends the following hours of sleep:
4 years - 11 hours, 30 minutes
5 years - 11 hours
6 years - 10 hours, 45 minutes
7 years - 10 hours, 30 minutes
8 years - 10 hours, 15 minutes
9 years - 10 hours
10 years - 9 hours, 45 minutes
11 years - 9 hours, 30 minutes
12 to 13 years - 9 hours, 15 minutes
14 to 16 years - 9 hours
Evidence shows that sleep is just as important as healthy eating and exercise for children to develop. Those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese. This is because they tend to crave and eat sugary or starchy foods during the day to give them energy to stay awake.
NHS guidelines say the key to how much sleep is enough is whether a child gets up fairly early in the morning, is alert and happy for most of the day and is not grumpy.
So how do we achieve the perfect sleep?
Routine is king, along with sensible lifestyle habits. These include regular meals, no caffeine after 2pm, blackout blinds, cool, quiet sleeping conditions and setting a limit to oversleeping in the morning. Exercise is also key and will help to encourage body and mind to relax and submit to sleep when bedtime comes.
Finally - and most importantly…
The bed! If your child has a comfortable, spacious, sturdy bed it could make all the difference to their sleep. At Little Lucy Willow we create beautiful girls and boys’ beds, with safety and comfort our top priority. Our luxury children’s mattresses are the perfect way to induce a restful, uninterrupted night’s sleep.
Contact a member of our friendly team on 0845 8030988 or email email@example.com any questions about our products or to place an order.