Sleep is vitally important for children for several reasons. Despite their seemingly endless stores of energy, children need sleep for its restorative effect in much the same way as adults do. Sleep is essential to the health of adults and children alike. Additionally, sleep helps children remain alert during the day, which is vital in ensuring your kids receive the most from their education.
This article highlights exactly why your kids need a consistently good night’s sleep for school. You’ll find out what the ideal amount of sleep for your kids is, and you’ll get some top tips on getting the kids back into good sleeping habits after a summer of late nights.
Why Your Kids Need Sleep For School
Sending your kids to school sets them up for the future and ensures they receive the right knowledge that allows them to have every chance of success in life. If you want to maximize your kids’ chances of getting the best education, you need to understand exactly why sleep is so important for school.
Improved Attention Span
The nature of the developing brain is such that very young children often have a difficult time focusing their attention on one thing, and such problems are amplified when a child suffers from a chronic lack of sleep. In fact, children under the age of three who don’t get enough sleep are more susceptible to developing attention and/or impulse disorders by the time they turn six.
Attention span issues can afflict children who don’t have an attention disorder. Sleep deprivation mirrors the effects of these disorders, leading to more impulsive behaviour and a decreased ability to pay attention, which can cause their school performance to suffer. Getting the right amount of sleep is vital for all children to absorb the information they are taught at school.
The human body is a majestic, complex machine, and one of the most remarkable tasks it does is utilize sleep to promote growth. Human growth hormone is primarily secreted during deep sleep, meaning adequate sleep is vital in ensuring your child grows at a normal rate. Research has found that kids who sleep less than average tend to be deficient in growth hormone, meaning slower growth than normal.
One of the biggest detriments to children’s education is long periods spent at home fighting off illnesses. Catching up with missed materials is challenging, even for the brightest students. Several illnesses spread throughout the school year can really hamper progress at school.
When people sleep, they produce proteins known as cytokines, which help fight off infections and even prevent them. The prevailing research says that adults who are sleep deprived are three times more likely to develop infectious illnesses than those who get enough sleep. Since children’s bodies work in the same way, such results are applicable to children too. Longer and better-quality sleep means fewer illnesses and an easier time obtaining the relevant knowledge at school instead of having to play catch up all the time.
Improved Learning Abilities
Children of all ages benefit from improved learning abilities with enough high-quality sleep. The brain needs to process the information children learn at school during the day and store this information to memory. This remarkable aspect of brain functioning is at its best when children get a good night of sleep on school nights—sleep encourages learning by improving the brain’s ability to retain information.
How much sleep do kids need?
Discovering the optimum amount of sleep for kids who go to school is important. The nature of the developing brain is such that kids of different ages require different amounts of sleep to get the maximum restorative and health benefits of sleeping. You can use the following hours as a broad guideline.
- Children aged 3-6 should sleep 10-12 hours every night.
- Children aged 7-12 should sleep 10-11 hours each night.
- Children aged 12-18 should sleep 8-9 hours per night.
A consistent bedtime is important in ensuring enough sleep. Children should be drifting off at roughly the same time each night, which makes it easier to get into the habit of sleeping for a set number of hours every night.
How to get back into good sleeping habits
It’s understandable if children spend summer time sleeping inconsistently. Late nights playing with friends, playing video games, or watching movies can all contribute to this. When returning to school though, it’s important to get into some good sleeping habits. The below tips can help your kids out with this.
Designate a sleep time for all the family
A big struggle with getting kids to sleep is perceived unfairness when adults or siblings are allowed to stay awake longer. By setting a consistent sleep time for all the family, children are more likely to sleep when you ask them to because they understand its importance more when sleep is made a priority instead of an annoyance.
See a doctor for sleep issues
Even going out of your way to ensure your children get enough sleep is sometimes not enough. Some children suffer from issues such as difficulty falling asleep, resisting sleep, and snoring, all of which impact on the quality of sleep and the child’s daytime mood. Such issues with sleep are often caused by underlying health issues that your doctor can diagnose and treat. Take your kid to see the family doctor if you notice consistent crankiness or tiredness.
Establish a routine
Repeated patterns of behaviour before bedtime can help prepare your child for sleep, ensuring children get a reliable, healthy amount of sleep every night. A routine can differ from family to family, but it typically involves brushing teeth, putting on pyjamas, turning off all electronics, and perhaps, reading a book.
Regardless of routine, you can’t overlook sleep environment in ensuring good sleep. The most important thing is that the mattresses your children sleep on should be comfortable. A high-quality mattress is often the difference between restless uneasy sleep and undisturbed healthy sleep that allows your children to benefit optimally from their sleep time.
Consider an investment in a natural mattress. A natural mattress uses the softest quality fillings and all natural materials.
Another way to improve your children’s sleep environment is ensuring their bedrooms remain dark. Sources of light entering a room can make it difficult to fall asleep. Additionally, don’t allow your children to use electronic devices such as phones, tablets, or handheld games consoles in their bedrooms.
Allow Personal Objects
While you should forbid electronic devices in your kids’ bedrooms, it’s a good idea to allow personal objects, including teddy bears, blankets, or dolls. Such devices can provide a sense of security for your kids and reassure them before falling asleep. This is especially relevant for younger children who might feel a strong sense of separation when they need to sleep.
- Adequate sleep has several benefits for school-going children, including improved attention span, increased learning capabilities, and fewer illnesses leading to fewer missed days from school.
- Kids of different ages need different amounts of sleep each night.
- A number of tips can help children get back into good sleeping habits as they return to school after a long summer off.
- An often-overlooked tip for better sleep is ensuring children sleep on comfortable A high-quality mattress paves the way for undisturbed rest.
To learn more about how a natural mattress can help your child sleep better, contact the sleep experts at the Natural Sleep company. Our team has over 20 years of experience crafting high quality comfortable mattresses from natural materials. Call or email us today.