With more and more studies finding a link between lack of sleep, mental health issues, and other such health problems, it’s important to know how to ensure your child’s brain gets enough rest. In this article, you’ll find out what happens when you don’t get enough sleep, and even more important when developing brains aren’t being shut off, as well as some suggestions for getting the appropriate amount of sleep!
How does sleep work?
Most people know that sleep is important, but many don’t know exactly how it works. Sleep is a vital part of our daily routine, and helps our bodies and minds to rest and repair.
During sleep, our bodies are able to heal from the day’s activities and prepare for the next day. Our brains also use this time to consolidate memories and process information. This is a very important function for developing brains and bodies.
If we don’t get enough sleep, we can start to feel tired, irritable, and have trouble concentrating. Over time, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to more serious health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. We all know what it’s like to feel irritable and deal with others who are irritable as well. Children can be especially cranky when they don’t get enough sleep. An of course we want them to be as healthy as possible.
So make sure that both you and your child get plenty of rest! Your bodies and minds will thank you for it.
The importance of rest for developing children
One of the most important things for children is to get plenty of rest. When they are tired, their bodies and minds need time to recover from the day’s activities. Getting enough sleep helps children to:
- Be at their best during the day – rested children are able to concentrate and learn more effectively. Since summer is a time when instructional learning is slowed, it is so important to make sure developing minds can take in and retain what little they learn.
- Be in a good mood – tiredness can lead to crankiness and bad temper. This is something that kids and parents alike want to avoid. Being cranky does not feel good, and dealing with a cranky child is not as fun as dealing with a happy one.
- Avoid accidents – tiredness can make it more difficult for children to pay attention and co-ordinate their movements, increasing the risk of accidents. This is self explanatory. No one likes getting hurt.
- Fight off illness – a good night’s sleep helps to boost the immune system, making children less likely to pick up infections. Also a self explanatory benefit. No one likes being sick.
How much sleep does my child need?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, sleep needs vary from person to person. Some people may need more sleep, while others may need less.
Research indicates that most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep a day. However, some people may need as little as five hours or as much as ten hours of sleep a day. A good rule of thumb is to get eight hours a night.
There are many factors that can affect how much sleep you need, including your age, lifestyle, health, and work schedule. If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to talk to your doctor about ways to improve your sleep habits.
How can I be good to my brain when it needs a break?
There are a few key things you can do to give your brain the rest it needs:
- Get enough sleep. This is crucial for letting your brain recover from the day’s work. Make sure you and your child are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Summer time is known for staying up all night because there is no school in the morning. It’s totally fine to push back your kid’s bed time, but make sure they are not staying up all night long all summer.
- Take breaks during the day. If you’re working on a project or task that is mentally demanding, take a break every 20 minutes or so. Give yourself a few minutes to relax and let your brain recover before you jump back in. The same thing goes for your children. You want to keep their brains active during summer, but you also want to make sure their brains have a rest too.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function and help protect the brain from damage. A healthy body equals a healthy mind, so make sure you’re taking care of your whole self. Play a game of soccer with your little ones, or take them to swim.
- Eat a healthy diet. Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs the right fuel to function properly. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. Make your own apple sauce, let your kids make smoothie recipes with you. It’s a fun family activity.
- Stimulate your mind with new activities. Keep your brain active by learning new things and engaging in activities that challenge you mentally. This could be anything from taking up a new hobby to reading more often or doing crosswords. Include your kids in these activities too. Do a large puzzle with them, or have them read to you.
Brain breaks are absolutely essential for everyone, but especially developing brains. Getting enough sleep, taking breaks throughout the day, and getting a good amount of exercise are all great ways to keep your child’s mind optimal through the summer.