The new year is quickly approaching, which means it’s time to brainstorm 2019 resolutions. The new year is a perfect time to start on a fresh slate and make commitments to stick to healthy habits. One goal that your entire family should work on together? To get more sleep!
According to a National Sleep Foundation study, 90 percent of school-aged children don’t get the recommended amount of sleep for their age group. Lack of shut-eye among adolescents can lead to impaired learning and school performance, behavioral problems, mood and emotional instability, a greater risk of sports injuries, and a worsening of health-related issues including obesity. The study also notes that in children, not getting enough sleep is also related to high-risk behaviors like substance abuse, suicidal behavior, and drowsy driving.
This is mainly due to the connection between sleep and neurocognitive functioning, where research says lack of sleep directly affects the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls selective operations, goal-directed behaviors, and creative processing—all traits that connect to your child’s ability to pay attention, perform well in classes, and effectively complete homework.
Sure, every kid is different when it comes to exactly how much shut-eye they need. But here’s how many hours of sleep per night the National Sleep Foundation recommends:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
- School-aged children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
- Young adults (17-25 years): 7-9 hours
How do you know if your child is getting enough sleep? Some signs are obvious, like constant yawning or droopy eyes. But symptoms of sleep deprivation in children change as they age and can be quite surprising. You’d probably never guess that being hyperactive is actually a sign of poor sleep, right? If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor about the other symptoms of sleep deprivation.
- Gradually adjust to an earlier wake-up time.
- Improve bedtime practices and practice healthy sleep habits, like avoiding electronics before bed.
- Make bedrooms good for sleeping. The room should be dark and not too distracting. A clean, comfortable mattress with appropriate bed linens is also important.
If your child is consistently having problems sleeping, talk to your pediatrician.
Ashley HomeStore believes that every child should have a good night’s sleep and a bed to call their own. From December 3-23, for every mattress sold, Ashley HomeStore will donate a mattress, bed frame, and bedding to a deserving child in Central Pennsylvania through Bell Family Shelter and United Methodist Home for Children. If you’re not in the market for a new mattress but want to help the children at these organizations, Ashley HomeStore will also be accepting donations to help the kids start the new year off just right.