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Caring for young kids is rewarding, but also challenging. You may hear a lot of “simple” tips and tricks for drastically improved behavior, but solutions that actually work are more difficult to find. One solution that actually works and can be simpler than we think, is sleep.
Children who get the right amount of sleep tend to be healthier both mentally and physically, than peers who are sleep deprived. This is more important than ever at a time when depression and obesity are so common in kids. Sleep helps kids perform better at school and get along better with friends. It also helps them in sports and other extracurricular activities. And of course, kids who get the right amount of sleep tend to be less moody. In addition to the immediate benefits, teaching kids proper sleep techniques and helping them to implement those techniques will decrease their risk for adult sleep-related problems like high blood pressure, depression, adult onset diabetes and obesity.
Happy, healthier and less moody kids are every parent’s dream. As a parent, you can make a big impact on the length and quality of their sleep by following the suggestions below.
Signs of sleep deprivation vary from kid to kid. Some get moody, some get hyper and others just seem tired. There are a few situations that can be particularly indicative of whether or not your kids may be struggling with sleep deprivation. If your child is frequently falling asleep in the following situations, then it’s likely that he/she is not getting enough good sleep:
Adopting new habits takes time and isn’t always easy, but it will make a big difference. Better sleep usually means healthier kids and happier parents. If you follow these guidelines but still notice signs of sleep deprivation in your child, contact your pediatrician to discuss additional solutions and options.
For more information on improving your child’s sleep visit http://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/healthy-sleep-in-children.pdf