A preschooler’s day can be pretty busy. Waking up, going to preschool, playing with friends, taking naps and doing homework from the school sums up a preschooler’s day. By the end of the day, the child is tired and needs to rejuvenate. They need a break. Sleep gives the child the much-needed rest. It is like a brief vacation for the body where energies are restored.
Every preschooler needs about nine to ten hours of sleep. Kids who get enough sleep have improved immunity, attention and better memory. It leads to the betterment of overall physical as well as mental health of the child. If the child has had enough sleep, he/she is less likely to throw tantrums and have behavioural issues. Lack of sleep often causes crankiness, grumpy behaviour, irritability and learning difficulties. Sufficient sleep leads to the development of problem-solving skills, increased creativity and confidence, and improved energy.
The reasons why your child needs sufficient sleep are:
· Sufficient sleep ensures that your child is less prone and at a reduced risk to get anxiety and reduced immunity.
· Lack of sleep affects motor skills immensely which can lead to accidental injuries and wounds.
· Lack of sleep can also lead to reduced cortisol and increased stress which may lead to development of anxiety.
· Sleeping well increases brainpower, thus leading to improved attention span and mental alertness.
· Sleep increases attention span of the child significantly. Research has shown that adding as little as 27 minutes of extra sleep per night makes it easier for children to manage their moods and impulses so they can focus on schoolwork.
· Sleep augments learning process.
· Inadequate sleep leads to an increase in a child’s weight. Kids who do not get enough sleep are likely to be more obese.
· When we are sleeping, the growth hormone gets secreted, thus promoting development and growth of the child.
· Better sleep is equal to better heart health. Sleep protects children from vascular damage caused by circulation of stress hormones.
Here are some tips for parents for ensuring that the child gets enough sleep:
· Dim the lights and make the room dark enough so that the child can sleep without any light hitting his/her face.
· Make sure that the child goes to bed at the same time every night. Consistency helps in setting up a regular bedtime routine.
· Do not keep any electronic devices like a television or a tablet in the room that your child sleeps.
· Do not let your child watch movies or TV shows that have an element of horror in them. It will make sleeping hard for the child. Child should sleep in the same sleeping environment daily, in a room that is cool, quiet and dark – and without a TV.
· Create a bedtime routine that has a calming activity before you tuck your child in the bed. It could be reading a book or a warm shower. This helps the child fall asleep quicker.
· If your child wakes up in the middle of the night, help the child go back to his room and sleep. If needed, stay in the room for a while until the child can sleep and then slowly move back to your room.
· Prioritize sleep. This means that any activity after the child’s bedtime should be cancelled and rescheduled for later if necessary.
Laughter and a good night’s sleep are the cure to everything! Tuck your children in the bed, kiss them goodnight and let the dreaming begin.