Early Bedtime Benefits For Kids

1. Sleep Promotes Growth.

You’ve probably had mornings where you’ve sworn your baby got bigger overnight, and you’d be right. “Growth hormone is primarily secreted during deep sleep,” says Judith Owens, M.D., director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C., and a Parents advisory. Mother Nature seems to have protected babies by making sure they spend about 50 percent of their time in this deep sleep, considered to be essential for adequate growth. Italian researchers, studying children with deficient levels of growth hormone, have found that they sleep less deeply than average children do.

2. Sleep Helps The Heart

Experts are learning more about how sleep protects kids from vascular damage due to circulating stress hormones and arterial wall — damaging cholesterol. “Children with sleep disorders have excessive brain arousal during sleep, which can trigger the fight-or-flight response hundreds of times each night,” says Jeffrey Durmer, M.D., Ph.D., a sleep specialist and researcher in Atlanta. “Their blood glucose and cortisol remain elevated at night. Both are linked to higher levels of diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease.”

3. Know How Much Sleep Is Required

As a general guide, your child’s sleeping needs naturally decrease by about 15 minutes each year. Toddlers and pre-schoolers need around 12-14 hours per day, primary school-aged children should get 10-12 hours and teens will usually want 9 hours. (Grown-ups do best with about 8 hours). Do your best to meet these requirements.

Hopefully these tips will help your children sleep like a log and wake up fresh as a daisy each and every day.

4. Reduced Risk of Obesity

Children who get enough sleep are at lower risk for childhood obesity, according to researchers at the University of Texas in Houston. Studies conducted by the university state that children who slept a single hour less than they needed increased their risk of obesity by 80 percent. This is because the hormones that control hunger are directly related to sleep quality; with too little rest, your child’s appetite turns itself on and stays on.

5. Benefits Of Sleep For Mental Health

Your child’s brain needs sleep to restore resources that were used up during the day. A well-rested brain can solve problems, learn new information and enjoy the day a lot more than a tired brain. Some areas of your child’s brain are even more active while they sleep.

Children who consistently get a good night’s sleep:

  • Are more creative
  • Can concentrate on tasks for longer
  • Have better problem-solving abilities
  • Are better able to make positive decisions
  • Are more able to learn and remember new things
  • Have more energy during the day
  • Can create and maintain good relations with others.

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