You can listen to people tell you about how important sleep is and the ill effects of not getting enough of it, but it’s not until you actually lack sleep that you realize its significance. Kiddies need sleep, teens need sleep, adults need sleep. Without it, grumpy moods arise and health is affected eventually too.
Lack of sleep has been associated with contributing towards obesity, studies have shown. And this is not the only issue, because without sleep people become less tolerable and tolerant, so when a family are in the home together, stress levels can rise and reduced amounts of sleep lead to reactions that aren’t normal.
How does not getting enough sleep affect different age groups?
Research has revealed that children who receive less sleep thank needed, can suffer learning and behavioral issues; what’s more, these can endure in their lives for years!
Teenagers lacking sleep are more susceptible to suffer from depression, issues with learning and are actually at risk of being involved in more accidents, including RTAs. Similarly, adults can have to deal with some of the same ill-effects as teenagers when sleep is not of a recommended amount.
Here’s a handy, comprehensive list of how much sleep humans of all ages need are here for you to see:
- Older adults, 65+ years: 7-8 hours
- Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
- Young adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours
- Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
- School-age children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
- Preschool children, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
- Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
- Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
- Newborn children, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
The bottom line is that the minimum number in the guideline above really is the out-and-out minimum. Requirements can vary from person to person but making sleep a priority for kids and parents is second to none.
With this in mind, here are a handful of effective ways that you can help your child get enough sleep:
1. Make sleep a priority
Reaffirming the point, we’re going to explain a little more about why sleep needs to be a priority. You make time to eat, work and do other vital day-to-day things, and sleep needs to be recognized as such.
2. Start the bedtime routine earlier
So, you’ve made sleep a priority, and you’ve got a routine; but is the routine starting at an early enough time? It’s not possible for humans to just switch off like a light switch. So, bear this in mind and plan a routine that begins a little earlier.
For example, if bedtime is at 9pm, then the bedtime routine journey should start no later than 8.30pm. If you can look to start an hour before then there’s plenty of time in between to get the winding down process into full effect.
Then, when the kids go to bed they’ll be ready to fall asleep, and this goes for you too! adults aren’t exempt from a winding down period, and after full-on days, may well need just as much of a wind-down period as the kids.
Think about sipping a camomile tea an hour before you want to be nodding off as it will help to relax you and send you on your way.
3. Eliminate the digital devices
This is a pointer that you will see in articles the world over, again and again, and for good reason; because it is essential and you should be listening to the advice from the professionals.
The blue light that is emitted from screens does enough to stimulate and wake up the brain making it more difficult to nod off. This rings true especially for smart devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Simply shut them down one hour prior to going to sleep; ideally when the bedtime routine sets in.
Ideally, phones need to be charged up outside of the bedroom, but if they can’t be, then use apps that turn off all notifications and then place your phone face down so that if the screen lights up in the night it won’t disturb you.
4. Remember, remember, remember
Essentially, all you need to do to keep sleep as a priority for both your children and yourself is to be consistent with the routine (this includes weekends and holidays) and the control of your smart devices; don’t let them control you.
Additionally, diet and exercise help to make up solid foundations related to a healthy overall lifestyle, which incorporates sleep. Sufficient sleep is critical to each family member’s overall health, well-being and quality of life.
If you are struggling to find the success with good sleep for either yourself and your children, then it is advisable to consult a sleep specialist to help overcome these sleep-related problems you are dealing with.
A suitably slept family are sure to enjoy plenty of physical and psychological benefits, so make sleep a prosperous part of your life!