We all know that sleep is an essential part of our lives, but why don’t we make it more of a priority? After a good night of sleep, we feel happier, full of energy, and ready to start a new day. It’s a fact that sleeping is essential for everyone, however, it’s even more important for children. Research shows that sleep significantly impacts cognitive performance, vocabulary acquisition, learning, and memory. Sleep also affects growth, especially in early infancy, where sleeping is necessary for memory consolidation and motor skill development.
Understanding The Importance Of Sleep Quality In Child Development
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has provided guidelines on how much sleep children need at different developmental stages. From 3 to 5 years of age, children need 10 to 12 hours of sleep, including naps. Kids between 6 to 12 years old need from 9 to 12 hours of sleep, with teens requiring from 8 to 10 hours. In order to feel fully rested, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep.
Sleep is also crucial to maintaining healthy social and mental functioning. Chronic sleep deprivation often leads to problematic behaviors and health problems like irritability, difficulty concentrating, hypertension, obesity, headaches, and depression. Research has linked general sleep tendencies with relationship quality. People who sleep worse experience relationship problems, engage more in abusive behaviors at work, are less charismatic, and are less effective in leadership roles. It also plays a role in how we relate to our children. Parents with better sleep will be more sensitive towards their kids and more resilient to stressors.
How To Develop A Good Sleep Routine For Your Family
For a good night of sleep, it is vital to have an excellent sleep environment, including a safe bedroom, a good bed, comfy sheets, and blankets. Including a security toy or blanket for kids can make it even better! Furthermore, the American Academic of Pediatrics encourages caregivers, parents, and foster parents to make sure their children develop good sleep habits with these great tips:
- Make clear that sleep time is a priority for all family members; being a good role model for children is key.
- Keep a regular daily routine, including weekends with the same pattern.
- Include daily physical and outdoor activities.
- Prevent sleep disruption due to screens with adequate screen boundaries before bedtime.
- Make sure your child’s bed is a place to sleep rather than play.
- Avoid overscheduling your kids; sports, lessons, appointments, playdates, and homework have their place, but should not take priority over sleep.
- Budget 30 minutes for winding down before sleep time, avoiding screens during that time.
The Sleep Safe Program Is Delivering Good Sleep for Foster Kids
Embrace Washington was granted $10,920 by Believe in Me to support their “sleep safe” program. This program aims to ensure that foster children get a good night of sleep in an environment where they feel comfortable and safe. This program also collaborates with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, as well as CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and Twilight Bedding to ensure foster families have access to beds, bedding, sheets, blankets, and pillows. To read more about Embrace Washington programs that Belive in Me supports, check our blog “Foster Care Grants Are Helping to Improve Child Welfare.”
This blog is purely informative and is not providing any medical advice. We hope this content not only helps to improve our reader’s quality of life but also explains the programs Believe in Me supports and how our donor’s generosity is positively impacting marginalized kids in our community. Thank you for supporting the foundation by reading our blogs, sharing our content, volunteering, and donating. Next time you are ready to go to bed, don’t forget to relax and be sure to make your family’s sleep routine a priority!