Isn’t it funny how the one thing we hated more than vegetables as children is the one thing we can’t ever seem to get enough of as adults? If we knew then, what most of us know now, we would have slept more. Researchers studied the effects of sleep deprivation ad nauseam where it pertains to adults. But suppose we want to delve into why our sleep patterns are the way they are healthy. In that case, we must look at sleep in children, understand why it’s such a valuable commodity, and fully comprehend the full effects of not getting adequate sleep.

Sleep is as important, if not more, than anything we do to take care of our bodies. For children, this is even more so. They’ve not yet developed the horrible sleeping patterns that time, pressure, and work-related stress create. Proper sleep, as a child, engenders positive effects for people’s entire lives. Sleep is so vital it has quickly become an urgent health mission in America. “Sleep is as important, if not more, than anyone thing we do to take care of our bodies.” By Olga Lucia Gomez, MD Proper sleep patterns may be the key to happy, healthy, thriving children Some of the many benefits of getting adequate rest are ones any parent, medical practitioner, or educator would appreciate.

How to sleep properly?

Proper sleep directly correlates with a child’s mood; thus, impacting their ability to learn and behave appropriately. Sleeping for the recommended hours (based on a child’s age) has been proven to lower a child’s risk of becoming obese, developing diabetes, having learning disabilities, and having difficulties paying attention in class or at home. Proper sleep is as beneficial to a child’s overall health as nutrition and regular exercise. When a person – young or old – begins to sleep, the body gets to repair and repackage the body’s neurotransmitters. These chemicals allow our brain to recognize signals and patterns and enable our brain cells to communicate with the rest of the body.

These signals mostly tell your body to purge what it doesn’t need to make room for what it does need. It rids itself of harmful disease-causing toxins and rejuvenates the healthy cells in our bodies. Experts suggest that families follow a strict routine around bedtime. Adhering to that cycle helps your child to recognize cues and to keep themselves in check.

Their bodies and brains will naturally begin shut down in a sense to allow them to end their days and sleep as they should . Children between the ages of five to about twelveyears-old should sleep about nine and a half hours per night. You might find that your kid does well with slightly more, but whatever the case, it is our jobs as parents to create an environment that is conducive to sleep. Create a nighttime routine like a bath, a book, and sleep. Explain to your child how the body works and what it does when you’re sleeping healthy. They’ll be fascinated to know that sleep helps protect their hearts, can prevent weight gain, can destroy toxins and germs, can increase their ability to concentrate, and can help them to be the best person they can be because they did what their body needed to do to make them thrive.

Olga Lucia Gomez
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