- Inadequate sleep has long been associated with a host of ailments
- The importance of a good night's sleep should not be undermined
- Getting enough quality sleep is important for children of all ages
Research suggests kids and young adults usually need more sleep over adults and older adults. A newly published study in The Journal of Pediatrics resounds the same idea. "Our findings suggest increasing sleep duration could offer a simple approach to reducing levels of body fat and Type 2 diabetes risk from early life," professor Christopher Owen, who led the research at St George's, University of London, said in a statement. The experts therefore suggested that getting more sleep in childhood may stave off or lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life. After closely examining around 4,525 kids in England, it was concluded that children who slept longer had lower body weight and lower levels of fat mass.
"Potential benefits associated with increased sleep in childhood may have implications for health in adulthood," Owen said.
The American Sleep Association charts out sleep hours for kids at various stages of their life. According to ASA, a newborn needs the most sleep which can go up to 15-16 hours in a day. Children who are between one to three years of age should be sleeping for 12-14 hours a day and as they grow up and age around 7-12 years, they must be sleeping for at least 9-11 hours.
Can diet mess with your child's sleep?
"A nighttime eating and drinking disorder is most common in babies or toddlers," noted ASA. This problem can be tackled by training your kid not to eat around bedtime. "The best way to teach a child to eat at other times during the day is through a gradual reduction in the number of feedings if a parent is nursing. On the other hand if a child is bottle fed, a parent can reduce the amount offered to the child for a nighttime feeding," noted the American Sleep Association.
If you child is older, make sure that he/she gets adequate physical activity and a balanced diet. Cut down on excessive sugar and junk food intake and make sure that your kid doesn't have a heavy meal right before tuning in. Monitor their screen-time, especially around bedtime. The ASA suggests few more points to ensure general sleep hygiene and a good night's sleep.
- Caffeine intake must be monitored
- Do not watch TV in bed
- Don't stay awake in bed for more than 10 minutes
- Avoid naps
- Maintain sleep time (20 +/-) is fine, not over that
- The bedroom must be quiet, comfortable and well ventilated
- Exercise regularly
Inputs from IANS