Many parent eventually reaches a point where they feel they need help. At this point many start with parenting websites and books. But new studies suggest a simple quick fix has again and again solved or greatly improved behavioral and school problems. And that simple fix is: sleep.
1-12 months: 14-15 hours
1-3 years old: 12-14 hours
3-6 years old: 10-12 hours
7-12 years old: 10-11 hours
12-18 years old: 8-9 hours
19+ years old: 7-9 hours
- inhibit productivity
- difficulty paying attention
- reduce the ability to remember information
- Greater chances of being involved in a car crash
- Higher BMI due to increase appetite
- Health problems such as diabetes, heart problems
- Increase or worsen psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
- Worsen ADHD symptoms
- Sleep deprivation can sometimes be mistaken with ADHD
- While adults become sluggish when sleep deprived, children speed up
What can improve when you get enough sleep
- Lessen ADHD Symptoms, one study found that symptoms were eliminated in some children
- Improves your brain power
- Clearer thinking
- Helps keep your heart healthy
- Reduces stress
- More alert
- Boost memory
- Helps protein molecules make repairs in your body
Studies between children that get enough sleep vs those that don't
In one study done by UVA found that sleep deprived children are more likely to snore and toss in bed. Test scores were also worse compared to children who did get enough sleep. The level of impairment in sleep deprived children was comparable to children who had been exposed to lead.
Some scientist believe that sleep apnea as an infant or toddler significantly raised the chances of the child developing ADHD. Additionally, some believe that sleep disorders in young children may be a direct cause of some ADHD cases.
What parents should do:
keep sleep stealer's out of room (ex. TV, cell phones, computers,)
Finish eating 2-3 hours before bed time
establish a bedtime routine
avoid caffeine close to bedtime
make sleep a priority
talk to the child's pediatrician (under Dr supervision many parents have seen improvements with certain vitamins or a melatonin supplements.)
The lack of sleep can become a vicious cycle. Sleep deprived children can still display symptoms well into the next day which can cause additional sleep problems. One thing that worked for me was the lights out method. This means that all lights, TVs, music players, computers, cell phones, EVERYTHING needs to be turned off and everybody needs to be in bed. If the child cries or complains, it's ok. I personally did not ignore my daughter when she cried but I also didn't turn on any lights or even say anything. I just sat down or laid down with her until she fell asleep. Eventually I was able to get to my bed faster each week.
Honestly, I did get resistance from my husband who was annoyed by it. But after much insistence (aka nagging) I got him on board. The temptation of a TV on in another room was too much for my daughter which caused her to stay up so there really was no room for negotiation.
I hope that this helps <3>3>
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1690 (Additional links at the end of article)