Children will essentially be involved in a myriad of activities which explains their high metabolism rate and their greater need for sleep as compared to adults. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that children between the age of six and twelve need around nine hours of sleep a night.
This is because children’s sleep cycles are different from those of adults, and their growing bodies need more rest in order to function correctly. While adults who need more sleep will tend to look tired or drowsy this is usually the opposite for children who tend to become more active and energized after sleeping for many hours.
Studies have also shown that children have better concentration and focus after they have had enough rest. Therefore, it is very important that parents make sure their children are well-rested. This blog post will explore why children need more sleep than their parents tend to think.
How much sleep does a child really need? Learn more here.
Reasons Why Children Need More Sleep
Children are Growing
Children are constantly growing and developing; therefore, they need more rest to fuel this process. On top of this, their brain is still developing into a fully-functioning adult brain. This means that while children can learn new things, they need more time to consolidate their new information and make sure it sticks. This is why children who stay up late tend to remember less of what they did the previous day and thus their learning process becomes redundant.
Science Says So
The National Sleep Foundation has come out with a study showing that there is a close relationship between the amount of rest and the learning ability of children. They have reported that children who get less than eight hours of rest usually score an average of 10 points lower on standardized tests than those who get nine to eleven hours. While this relates to academic performance it also the relation between rest and brain development in children.
It Affects Weight
With children consuming on average more calories as compared to adults it is important to ensure that these calories are burned which can be achieved by getting enough rest. There is continued evidence that getting little rest will lead to kids being overweight.
Helps Fight Germs
While sleeping children as well as adults produce cytokines which are proteins crucial in fighting stress, illness and infection. This means that children who get little or no rest will produce less of these proteins which may be detrimental to their health hence the need for more sleep.
Reduces the Risk of Injury
Studies have shown that children who get more rest are less likely to suffer from injuries and serious illnesses such as a broken bone or injury to their head. This is because children who get less than the recommended amount of rest experience poorer decision-making skills and thus more accidents. Studies have also shown that children who get less rest are clumsier as compared to children getting sufficient rest.
Helps the Heart
Research shows that getting more rest will protect children from risks of heart conditions that include vascular damage. This is because with less rest the “flight or fight” response in children is likely triggered multiple times in one night which may lead to the damage of arteries.
How to Ensure Children Get Enough Rest in Daycare
Daycares need to ensure that children get enough rest since children will spend most of their daytime in such institutions this can be achieved in several ways: