Sleep is as essential as eating and drinking. It keeps you calm, your mind alert and recharges your body to enable you to get up and face each day. As adults we know how too little sleep can affect our productivity at work as well as our mood at home. Our children are no different, yet we may think nothing of it when bedtime is occasionally pushed back or naps are missed. In reality, such instances could impact all areas of your child’s life.
What are the benefits of a good night’s sleep?
Feeling alert! How groggy or on the ball your child appears on any given day can be directly linked to their sleep. To be able to function and interact with a good attention span an age appropriate amount of sleep is essential. But as much as lack of sleep can result in a tired, sluggish child, it can also lead to hyperactivity and impulsivity problems. According to Judith Owens, M.D., director of sleep medicine at Children's National Medical Center, in Washington, the symptoms of sleep-deprivation and ADHD mirror each other almost exactly. In other words, tired children can be impulsive and distracted even though they don't have ADHD. Research shows that adding just 27 minutes of extra sleep per night makes it easier for school age children to manage their moods and impulses so they can focus on homework.
Healthy brain development It is well documented that good sleep helps prevent many learning and behavioural problems.
Promotes growth You may wake up one morning and be convinced that your child has grown since you put them to bed the night before. You are most probably right because growth hormone is primarily secreted during deep sleep.
A healthy weight There is lots of evidence to support the idea that too little sleep causes children to become overweight. One American study showed that when parents were coached on the difference between hunger and other distress cues then soothed without feeding – using techniques such as swaddling and swinging - their babies were more likely to be sound sleepers and less likely to be overweight. Consistently tired children have also been shown to eat differently to those who are well rested, craving higher-fat or higher-carb foods. Due to their tendency to be more sedentary, such children also burn fewer calories.
Beat the germs! Children produce proteins known as cytokines during sleep. The body relies on these to fight infection, illness and stress.
What constitutes a good night’s sleep?
- A spacious yet cosy child’s bed - Make sure your child’s furniture is sturdy with a firm but comfortable mattress that will support a growing spine.
- Uninterrupted slumber - It can be tricky trying not to disturb your sleeping child especially when there are older siblings in the house but it is worth every effort!
- A well-ventilated room – In addition to this, try and maintain a room temperature between 16-200C.
- Darkness – If your child hates the dark suggest a nightlight as a compromise. This could be as simple as a string of fairy lights. Anything brighter and nodding off will take much longer than is necessary.
- No screens – This is a must. Many children will wake up in the middle of the night and reach for their phones to check messages or play games. This ultimately leads to extremely bad sleeping habits. Make a non-negotiable rule that phones and tablets must be kept elsewhere overnight.
- A solid routine – A consistent bedtime routine is the key to a long and healthy night’s sleep. Your child may not show it, but they will no doubt enjoy the security and comfort of their routine. This means they will be mentally and physically prepared to get their head down each night for some brain-boosting slumber!
Want to know more about children’s beds by Little Lucy Willow?
At Little Lucy Willow we put comfort and safety above all else. Stunning design is just a bonus. Our children’s bedroom furniture is luxurious, affordable and built to last.
We want to make sure you enjoy your shopping experience with Little Lucy Willow from start to finish. That’s why we are always ready to take your call and help you choose a girl’s or boy’s bed that is perfectly suited to their needs – and dreams!
Contact a member of our friendly team on 0845 8030988 or email [email protected] with any questions about our products or to place an order.