Most school children are getting significantly less sleep than they should. Children need a minimum of 10 hours a night until their teens, but lots of children and teens still need more than that! Here are 5 things your child need to know about sleep.
Without good sleep as a child, everything is harder! It’s hard to focus, mood is lower, you have fewer coping skills. And you’re much more likely to snap at people and be unable to control your emotions. So how can we encourage our older children to see the benefits of great sleep?
Here are 5 things to tell your school age child about sleep, and hopefully entice them into more of it:
- Going to sleep recharges our body batteries. Like plugging in an iPad. If it’s only half charged, then we won’t get as much juice out of it. And we’ll run out of steam early. But sleep is also responsible for brain updates. It’s when our brain sorts what to keep/remember and what to chuck out. If we don’t get enough sleep to allow for the full update. That’s when we get glitches.
- Top sportsmen (and women) or even top musicians and dancers need MORE sleep than average. High performance means high sleep needs. These days a quick google of your favourite sport or activity will likely show you how sleep is rating in importance more and more.
- Because sleep strengthens neural pathways, and reinforces learning and memory, it makes us smarter! No joke! If you need to study. Learn the material then take a nap! Seriously.
- Human growth hormone is released in deep sleep. It’s not just nutritious food that is needed to help us grow. If you want to grow taller than your friends, get an earlier bedtime (there’s more deep sleep in the first half of the night).
- Screen time before bed can rob us of sleep. The blue light from screens suppresses melatonin, our sleepy hormone. Without melatonin it’s harder to fall sleep and stay asleep. And it’s quality AND quantity that count.
Have you felt that yucky feeling the next day when you don’t get enough sleep? Or maybe you’ve passed that – and you’re now running on stimulating hormones. It may seem like you’re doing fine on little sleep. But chances are you’re really not!
It’s only recently that sleep has been recognised as one of the foundational pillars of good health. Over and above nutrition, exercise and genetics. In fact, research is starting to show that it’s good sleep that helps us live longer.
What do you think? Are you still in the outdated mindset that you’ll sleep when you’re dead? That’s certainly one way to get there quicker. Or are you willing to accept that great sleep is a thing, and embrace it!? I’d love to know.
And if sleep isn’t coming easily. I can help! Book a free initial call to learn more. It’s what I do!