(Part 2 of 2)
Yes, majority of research on sleep loss focuses on cognitive or brain consequences. However, it’s not just about the brain. For instance, the lack of nap in kids will result in adverse metabolic changes that lead to the development of insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more commonly – obesity.
A recent study courtesy of Johns Hopkins University revealed that when a child gets an additional amount of sleep other than bedtime sleep, the risk of becoming overweight or obese is reduced by about nine percent. The same study said that those who slept with the least amount of hours in one day had a whopping ninety two percent risk of becoming obese or overweight.
Effects on Learning
In this modern age, we take our children to school earlier in their lives compared to what was used to in the past. But there’s no sense in trying to let your child absorb learning in school if he or she doesn’t get enough time to sleep. Yes, there is a direct connection between sleep and how fast your child learns and develops.
Optimal Alertness – Are you having problems with your child grasping new skills, knowledge, and information? That’s probably because he or she doesn’t possess optimal alertness. With healthy and sufficient sleep, the young body of a child is able to function at the optimum level when awake. It means the child will be most receptive and interactive with the environment. It means that he or she will obtain the greatest attention span, which eventually gives him/her the ability to learn faster. The common signs of having optimal alertness are being able to socially interact with confidence and ease, being attentive but calm, having a pleasant personality, and being able to absorb information without exerting that much effort.
Special Mention on Naps
And we’d like to reiterate the crucial role played by naps in keeping the development pattern in children on track. With naps, there is certainly a positive impact on learning and development. They’re different from night sleep, obviously, but they’re the same in the sense that they are a necessity. Naps will happen at different times of a day and they serve multiple functions.
Your Role as a Parent
As a parent of a growing child, it is your responsibility to be extra sensitive when it comes to their sleeping pattern, and we’re talking about both night sleep and naps. You are mainly responsible for making sure that they are religiously following their sleep habits, leading to better health and positive physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Keep in mind that it is a lot easier to instill and teach them the good habit of sleeping when they’re still young.
Being able to integrate and establish the importance of sleep in children and kids, you’re going to expect a happier, more socially active, and healthier young adult in a few years.