Sleep is no less important than food, drink, or safety in the lives of children. Although this may seem fairly obvious, many families actually don’t create the right atmosphere for children to get the critical sleep they need to develop and function properly.
It’s certainly not something we do on purpose. As a matter of fact, we often don’t think much about it, and that’s the problem.
We all lead busy, frenetic, hectic lives working long hours, with school activities, after-school activities, Clubs and other lifestyle factors, so sleep, naps & rest are missed, & bedtimes are pushed back, mornings start earlier and nights may be anything but peaceful, relaxed or conducive to sleep.
Missing naps or going to bed a little late may not seem like a big deal, but it is. It all adds up, with consequences that may last a lifetime.
To understand the critical nature of sleep for your children’s growth and development, you need to understand more about what sleep does, what healthy sleep is, and what happens when children don’t get either the right amount of sleep, the best quality sleep, or both.
You also need to understand the role sleep plays in being alert or drowsy, stressed or relaxed, hyper or chilled and how that in turn may affect temperament, learning, and social behaviour.
A good night’s sleep is about getting to sleep and staying asleep. Most children wake up by themselves in the morning if they’re getting enough good-quality sleep.