One of the hardest things for a parent to do might be getting their kids to go to bed, but getting enough sleep each night is fundamental to whether or not your child has a successful day.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-aged children (6 to 13) should get nine to 11 hours of sleep each night. As children become older, it can become more difficult for them to get enough sleep and meet the daily demands of going to school, doing homework and still finding time to participate in extra curricular activities.
Why Sleep is Important
Getting enough sleep is essential for your child's health because many things happen to their bodies while sleeping. Blood supply to the muscles increases, which causes tissue repair and growth to occur. Hormones that are vital to growth and development are also released during sleep. Sleep gives the body the opportunity to recharge and get energy for the next day. And while research on what the brain does while sleeping is ongoing, studies show the brain can store memories and information while we sleep.
What Happens When Your Child Doesn't Get Enough Sleep
How your child sleeps has a direct effect on how they operate in their daily lives. Not getting enough sleep each night can cause your child to be cranky and not have the ability to think as sharply as he or she could otherwise. During sleep children experience both mental and physical development. Sleep also keeps your child in overall good health. Research shows there are links between the amount of sleep a child gets and the likelihood they will develop obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
You know getting your child to bed is important, but bedtime isn't necessarily the favorite part of the day for most children. Try and keep a schedule. Children do well with a routine. Make bedtime the same time everyday so your child knows when it's time for bed. After dinner, try to make sure your child doesn't do stimulating activities. Encourage them to read a book or listen to music instead of playing outside. It's also a good option to get rid of televisions and computers in your child's bedroom. Studies show children with TVs in their rooms tend to get less sleep each night. You'll want to make your child's room as comfortable as possible and make them understand that their bedroom is for sleeping.
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