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The benefits of sleep and how to help your child get enough

The benefits of sleep and how to help your child get enough

We all know that children need plenty of sleep and rest for optimal health and development. But how exactly does getting the right amount of shut eye benefit your little one? How much sleep does your child need? How can you create the right sleep environment?

Read on to find out.

What are the benefits of sleep?

Here are five reasons why sleep is important for your child:

  1. Memory and concentration

Sleep helps the human brain process memories. Thus, a well-rested child will be able to concentrate better, remember things more easily and learn new information and skills.

  1. Mood management

Have you ever noticed that your child is more likely to be irritable and has trouble controlling their emotions when they’re tired? With a good night’s sleep, your child will be in a better mood and be able to handle the day’s stresses more effectively.

  1. Problem-solving ability

Sleep gives children’s brains a chance to rest and reset. This helps with their problem-solving and creative thinking abilities. So if your child is having trouble with a project or puzzle, it might be because they need to rest! Keep this in mind, and encourage them to try again after getting good sleep.

  1. Energy and immunity

When children are sleep deprived, their bodies cannot produce as many infection-fighting cells as when they’re well rested, making them more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. Getting the right amount of sleep will help your child stay physically healthy and have the energy needed to play throughout the day.

  1. Heart health

Finally, sleep is important for your child’s heart health. When children are sleep deprived, their bodies produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. This can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease in the future.

How much sleep does your child need?

The amount of sleep your child needs depends on their age. Infants need 12–15 hours of sleep per day, while toddlers need 11–14 hours. For preschool-aged children, the recommended amount of sleep is 10–13 hours per day.

How to help your child sleep well

Many parents have trouble making sure their children get the recommended amount of sleep. Here are some ways to help your child get a good night’s rest:

  1. Establish a bedtime routine.

Following the same routine every night will help your child wind down and prepare for sleep. This can include taking a bath, reading a book and/or listening to calm music.

  1. Maintain a cool and comfortable bedroom environment.

To improve your child’s quality of sleep, it is important to keep their bedroom cool and comfortable. Make sure their bedding is light and breathable and, when possible, that their room stays at a temperature of 18–21 degrees Celsius.

  1. Create a calm environment.

A calm environment is essential for a good night’s sleep. Remove any toys or objects that might create noise or distract your child. You could also use a white noise machine to help your child fall and stay asleep.

  1. Limit your child’s screen time before bed.

Blue light from screens can interfere with sleep patterns. To avoid this issue, make sure your child powers down all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed.

  1. Limit caffeine and sugar before bed.

To make sure your child gets good sleep, you’ll need to limit their intake of caffeine and sugar before bedtime, as both can make it harder for children to sleep.

  1. Get your child moving during the day.

Finally, make sure your child gets enough physical activity during the day. Exercise can help tire them out, so they’re more likely to sleep through the night.

Sleep strategies at Learning Ladder

If your child naps during the day, our educators can help your little one relax by creating a soothing atmosphere with lighting and music. Learning Ladder’s rest and sleep strategies are based on safe sleep recommendations from Red Nose, a leading authority in child wellbeing.

Please get in touch to learn more.

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