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Sleep Deprivation: How Sleep Starved are your Children?

This morning I was struck by this Huffington Post article which takes a look at how sleep starved our children are, and how sleep is “critical to our children`s health and development” writes Alyson Shafer. She lists reasons why sleep is so important, the consequences of sleep deprivation and 7 ways to help kids get a proper night`s sleep.

Sleep Deprivation: Parents Aren’t Doing Their Kids Any Favours By Letting Them Stay Up

It’s time we open our eyes and take a critical look at how sleep starved our children are and how it’s hurting them. Children are averaging an hour less sleep compared to 30 years go. And they’re definitely getting less than what sleep experts recommend. It’s a serious problem. It’s even been called a public health crisis — an epidemic.

Some of you might be thinking: “Sheesh, it’s only an hour of sleep. Is it that bad? Yes, people, it’s bad. Very, very bad.

Why Sleep Is So Important
Sleep, like eating, is critical to our children’s health and development.

We all understand why kids should eat fruits and vegetables and get enough iron, yet few parents know what the heck happens physiologically when the body is sleeping and why it’s so critical.

It is only (or mostly) while our bodies sleep that these critical functions can occur:

• the day’s learning is cemented by the growth and strengthening of neural connections;
• the memories of the day’s activities are stored into long-term memories during a process called memory consolidation;
• the body does its restorative healing work (ex. tissue repair, protein synthesis);
• growth hormone is released;
• and changes to the structure and organization of the brain, known as neuroplasticity, occur.

Well-fed and well-rested children are at the top of their game. They are energetic, alert, happy and ready to learn. Children lacking nourishment or sleep are under-performing.

Read the rest of the post here.

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Photo: Laura Natividad via Getty Images

What do you think?

P.S. Products to keep your babies and toddlers warm this winter and our curated list of English Speaking Pediatricians.


Sleep Deprivation

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