Things You Should Know About Lack of Sleep in ChildrenFriday, 13 July 2018
Sleep is essential for life, and this also applies to children. In the process of growth and development process, the role of sleep is just as important as nutrition and stimulation. During sleep, the cells of the body are regenerated, the growth and development hormones are produced, and the immune system is restored. The amount of sleep required by the Little One depends on their activities and body conditions. For elementary school children, 9-10 hours of sleep is required. Children younger than this generally require 11-14 hours of sleep every day. Healthy sleeping habits are formed when the sleep duration is adequate, sleep quality is good, and sleep schedule is in accordance to the biological rhythm of the Little One. If one of these is not fulfilled, then the Little One is at risk of sleep deprivation. The short-term impacts that can be immediately seen are unfit appearance and difficulty concentrating at school. For younger children, lack of sleep can lead to fussiness. In addition, lack of sleep can also affect the body weight as well as the future of the Little One. According to Jeffrey Durmer, MD, PhD, a sleep specialist in Atlanta, United States of America, one of the impacts of lack of sleep for the Little One is the presence of spiked activities in the brain that can stimulate the release of stress hormones. Studies conducted in various countries have shown the presence of an association between sleep duration and risk of obesity in children. The shorter the sleep duration, the higher the risk of obesity in the Little One. In fact, a study conducted in Australia found that a majority of under-fives who experience sleep deprivation will be obese by the time they reach elementary school age. A similar finding is also expressed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, who also claim that sleep deprived children are at risk of obesity in adulthood. What is the association between sleep and obesity? A lot of factors are said to influence this relationship, one of which is the leptin hormone. If the Little One is sleep deprived, this hormone that is supposedly produced during sleep will consequently be reduced in the bloodstream. Leptin functions to produce a sense of satiety. A reduction in its quantity will cause the Little One to not feel full and increase their tendency to seek for food with high fat content. The issue of sleep deprivation does not stop there, as the future of the Little One can also be affected. Obesity in children has been shown to increase the risk of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and coronary heart disease in adulthood. So, do not underestimate lack of sleep in the Little One as it can lead to negative impacts in the future. In order for the Little One to have adequate sleep duration, their daily activities should be reassessed. Sometimes, without realizing, their daily activities may limit their sleep duration. For instance, a tight activity schedule or staying far away from the activity locations can be time consuming. Accustom the Little One to regular sleep patterns to ensure that they are healthy and that their future is secured.