In honor of World Mental Health Day last Tuesday, I am writing this post on the benefits of healthy sleep for parents and children. Sleep is such an important part of everybody’s life. Not getting enough sleep can be frustrating and make us feel depressed. Ensuring that our children get enough uninterrupted sleep (for naps and overnight) is not only important for our children but also for us. How can we be at our best and feel our best when we are struggling from lack of sleep?
Why is sleep so important? There are so many reasons. Not only do we feel better rested to tackle the next day, but it also serves so many other purposes. Here are just a few reasons why sleep is so important:
- Helps prevent depression in moms.
If mom’s are struggling with their baby’s sleep and therefore not sleeping very well themselves, then this is going to impact on their mental health. Having a baby who doesn’t sleep well is stressful and worrying. If you are also experiencing some symptoms of depression, then lack of sleep is likely to exacerbate them.
- Promotes growth.
When children and babies sleep at night a growth hormone is secreted. Good healthy night sleep helps a child grow taller and stronger.
- Promotes learning.
Sleep is necessary for memory consolidation, learning and attention span. Lack of sleep can affect a child’s ability to retain new information and skills as it helps to incorporate learning into permanent memory. For babies their morning nap is mentally restorative – which means it has its own unique purpose. It has also been found that children who have long naps are more likely to have a longer attention span.
Sleep helps keep your mind alert. If a child doesn’t get enough sleep at night it is likely to lead to poor school performance and a difficulty concentrating in class.
- Helps fight illness.
Sleep helps a person fight off illness quicker. Think of your child when he has a high fever. You put him to bed earlier, or give him a nap when he hadn’t napped for months, and he wakes up feeling so much better then when you put him down.
- Prevents abnormal weight gain.
Children and adults, who are not getting adequate sleep are more likely to gain weight. Lack of sleep can lead to increased eating of unhealthier foods. When we are tired we crave foods high in fat or sugar. When tired; both adults and children will feel sluggish and have less energy, which means they are less likely to burn as many calories.
Babies and children who get the sleep they need in the early years and have parents who prioritize, promote and teach healthy sleep habits are much more likely to carry this over into their teen and adult years. They are more likely to understand just how important healthy sleep is and how good their bodies feel when they are well rested and strive for this as they grow older. So lets priorities healthy sleep for our children and ourselves today. We will be helping our children grow into the amazing people they are and feel the best they can. There will be life long benefits.
If you are having trouble helping your little one get the sleep they need I am here to help. Please feel free to contact Mylee at Little Big Dreamers today. Alternatively you can book a consultation package or a free 15 minute get acquainted call here. Have you had a chance to join my free community where parents come together to discuss child sleep issues? Join here! I look forward to helping you improve your child’s sleep.