A question that is very common among parents is “Does it really matter what time my child goes to bed?” The answer is a big, fat YES! The time your child goes to sleep does make a difference. We all have a biological clock and our circadian rhythms can help us sleep if we honor them by getting to bed at the right time. In addition, maintaining a consistent bed and wake time helps keep our internal clock “set.” 1 in 5 children have irregular bedtimes. So this is something that is pretty common among families.
All kids are different and you know what your child needs and what they’re like if they don’t get enough sleep. Sometimes we may think “If my child stays up late, he’ll just sleep late and make up for it in the morning.” But this is not the case. A too-late bedtime can lead to:
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Waking up in the middle of the night
- Early morning waking
- Getting less sleep overall
Having your child go to bed at a good time every night and making it routine can have tremendous benefits on their brain, concentration, reading skills and other academic and social ways. Did you know that boys and girls with erratic sleep schedules scored lower in reading, math and spatial awareness? Clearly sleep is important. Here are some other ways consistent sleep in children can make them “smarter.”
- Sleep is good for growing brains. To develop and function properly, growing brains require repeated cycling through all the stages of sleep for full benefits to occur. From infant ages through the teen years.
- Key for cognitive development. Studies show children who get sufficient sleep are better problem solvers, more creative, and more flexible thinkers who achieve greater academic success.
- Memories are made during sleep. Children’s brains work overtime while they’re sleeping. The brain will file, store, and even discard what they’ve experienced and learned. Subconsciously, they transform learned material into active knowledge.
- Muscles repair and build as sleep occurs. Muscle development occurs almost exclusively during sleep. If children do not sleep well at night, their muscles cannot develop properly. Deep sleep triggers the release of a hormone that promotes normal growth. The same hormone boosts muscles mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children and teens. You might be wondering “How does this aspect of sufficient sleep help my child become smarter?” Our bodies grow and repair while we sleep, which leads to better overall body function the next day. When we feel better we want to be active. Being active leads to healthy bodies and brains and clears our mind for new information.
- Healthy sleep = happy kids. Cranky moods are inevitable if your child does not get enough sleep. While we all get grouchy from time to time, including children, children have a low tolerance for too little sleep. When children experience discouragement and frustration they have less joy and interest and this leads to poor understanding of how to solve problems.
Help your children get a good night’s rest:
- If they still need naps, make sure they don’t skip them
- Follow a bedtime routine at least 20 minutes before bed
- Avoid TV, computer use, and video games at night
- Don’t serve sugary treats or juice after dinner
- Give your child some control by allowing them to choose their pjs and a story, make their bedtime routine a pleasant one
Having your child get the proper amount of sleep, every day is key to their mental, physical and emotional health. Being consistent with good bedtime habits will pay off for years to come. Having a comfortable bed is just as important for children as it is for adults. Your mattress store in Las Vegas cares about the well being of your family and we are here to help in whatever way we can.