Four Reasons Why Late Bedtimes are Bad for Kids
Making sure your children get enough sleep is really important for their overall development. Good quality sleep is as important as good nutrition.
Getting good quality sleep is no less important than nutrition for children’s overall development. Although this may seem obvious, many people don’t give a second thought to their children’s sleep schedules and their late bedtimes.
Our modern lifestyle has influenced this a lot. People are sleeping less and less due to the fact that parents are so busy with work, children have so many school activities, and people don’t take their eyes off their electronic devices.
The most worrying thing is that many are unaware of the consequences of late bedtimes. Although skipping naps or going to bed late seems harmless, these things actually have negative effects that can last a lifetime.
Why is this so bad? What can you do to change it?
Given that many parents don’t pay much attention to this, we decided to share the major risks and some tips to help you change your children’s sleeping habits.
Why is it Important for Your Child to Sleep Well?
Before going into detail about the consequences of late bedtimes, it’s important to remember why children need to sleep right. Although some little ones refuse to go bed early, this habit is more important than it seems.
A good night’s rest is one of the best ways to boost energy. Sleeping recharges the brain’s “battery” so you can have an optimal mental performance throughout the day. Therefore, the child’s mind will be alert and calm after a good night’s sleep.
On the other hand, sleep also affects physical abilities. When you rest, the muscles release the day’s stresses and are prepared to take on new challenges. This, of course, is key to your children’s school and sports activities.
See also: How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
What does Healthy Sleep Mean
Healthy sleep not only involves early bedtimes but also:
- Getting enough sleep (no less than 10 hours per night)
- Getting uninterrupted sleep
- Taking enough naps
- A sleep schedule that’s in sync with the child’s circadian rhythms (internal biological clock)
If any of the aforementioned items is out of whack, it can trigger sleep deprivation symptoms. The good news is that there are several habits that can help keep them on track.
Reasons Why Late Bedtimes are Bad for Kids
One of the hardest things for parents is getting their kids to go to bed early. With so many distractions, children just don’t want to go to bed.
But not addressing this issue could harm their development and growth. Although it may seem irrelevant, a poor night’s sleep may be the cause of many future problems.
They cause difficulty concentrating
Poor quality sleep has negative effects on the child’s mental health. Not sleeping enough makes the child less mentally alert and unable to concentrate on their activities.
A bad night’s sleep is the most common cause of attention deficit in class. Also, this can make the child less active and lazier.
They cause sleepiness
Late bedtimes may be the reason children suffer from daytime sleepiness. Not sleeping enough (less than 10 or 12 hours, depending on their age) will make them feel tired and sleepy all day long.
They make them feel fatigued
Sleepiness goes hand in hand with fatigue. Contrary to what some think, not only adults suffer from this. Children can also suffer from weakness and fatigue as a consequence of poor quality sleep.
They also can fall into a “hyper-alert” state, which can cause more troublesome sleep disorders. This is because this state increases the secretion of hormones such as adrenaline that keep the brain awake.
4. They icrease the risk of obesity
Poor sleep patterns can increase the risk of childhood obesity, according to evidence from scientific research that collected data from 29 studies carried out in 16 countries.
This research states that late bedtimes or interrupted sleep may be a risk factor for obesity.
How to Improve Your Children’s Sleep Habits
Parents must understand that children don’t just outgrow their sleep problems and thus need their help to solve them. To do this, you need to start monitoring their sleep patterns and keep in mind that they should go to bed from 7:30 to 8:30 P.M.
The whole family should get involved in this process. It’s easier for the child to understand that they should rest when they see that their parents and siblings are also getting enough sleep.
Also, to ensure their sleep will be uninterrupted, they should sleep in rooms free of distractions such as TVs, computers, or tablets.