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Importance of Sleep for Your ChildParents in North Austin Understand: Sleep is Critical for your Child’s Health

Sleep is becoming a luxury, not the necessity that it is for our bodies. Instead of seeing it as a part of a healthy lifestyle, we say things like “I’ll sleep when I have time” and “I’m treating myself by going to bed early”. Studies have been done that show lack of sleep impairs our judgement, reflexes and attention span, but yet we still do not see the importance of sleep.

If it can create issues for adults, imagine the impact is it having on your children. To put it simply, Family Health in North Austin starts with sleep for your child. They are still growing and maturing and sleep is a vital part of their health. It is a time when your child’s body can recharge and it is also thought that sleep can possibly solve problems. On average, elementary-aged children need about 9.5 hours of sleep a night, but it could be as much as 11 hours, depending on your kid.

To understand the full scope of how important sleep is, we first need to understand what we mean by sleep. Some people may think that laying-down for a few hours is good enough, but that is not the case. There is a difference in good and bad sleep.

In order to have a good night’s rest, there must be a sufficient amount of sleep (as determined by each person), it has to be uninterrupted, and the sleep schedule should be in sync with the child’s natural biological rhythms. For younger kids, healthy sleep includes the right amount of naps throughout the day as well.

Sleep has been tied to children with higher IQs and has helped children with ADHD improve relations with their peers and classroom performance. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 that get more sleep are found to be more sociable and less demanding.

Without the proper amount of sleep, children can be worn-out, cranky and unable to think clearly, affecting their learning capabilities. When a child is tired, his or her immune system and growth pattern are also affected. Long-term sleeplessness can become chronic and lead to bigger issues.

The good news is that lack of sleep is a condition can usually be treated. Children will not “outgrow” sleeping problems, they have to be solved. Sit down and talk with your child and find out what is keeping him or her awake. It could be something as simple as discomfort because of their pillows or fear of those pesky monsters in the closet when the lights turn off that can be destroyed with a night light.

As your child gets older, limit the amount of time allowed on cell phones and watching television in the bedroom. Continuous stimulation of the brain with these activities can keep children up for hours past their required bedtime. Have a time when all gadgets, including yours, need to be turned off for the day.

If the problem is more severe or seems to be getting worse, consult your doctor on steps to take to overcome it.

Website: North Austin Family Health

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