If you haven’t read part 1 of this article series, we highly recommend that you do so by visiting the above link. Let us continue with the various benefits of proper sleep for growing kids.
Benefits of sleep for growing kids
Sleep lets your child to grow taller
Another way sleep has a good influence on your kid is how it helps them to grow taller. It is believed that bones grow the most during sleep, hence why many kids wake up their parents at night complaining about leg pain. It is because while laying down, your child’s bones don’t have to support their weight, which enables them to grow and make your child taller the day after.
But naturally, don’t hesitate to take your child to the doctor if they keep complaining about pain in their legs!
Sleep improves your child’s immune system
The more your child gets the amount of sleep they need, the less you have to think about taking trips to the doctor’s. When your child is sleeping, their brain is working on its own and producing hormones responsible for your child’s immunity and good health, such as the hormones leading white blood cells towards bacteria and foreign bodies.
An interesting research regarding this matter has shown that children who slept right after getting a vaccine have been able to release almost two times more immune cells resulting in a much better immune system than those who didn’t.
Moreover, just like for teenagers and adults, children who don’t sleep enough end up releasing much more cortisol than those who do. And we know that cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress which has a destructive impact on one’s immunity, which is why you need to absolutely make sure your child is getting enough sleep every night.
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Sleep makes his heart healthier
It seems like children who get the amount of sleep they need and don’t suffer from sleep deprivation are less likely to develop heart related illnesses. Getting enough sleep actually helps preventing them from suffering from blood pressure or insulin issues. Studies are still being done and conducted regarding this matter, but in a nutshell, the substance (it is a protein) responsible for blood pressure issues is more produced the less a child sleeps.
Sleep prevents your child from becoming hyperactive
Is your sleep-deprived child used to throwing tantrums right before they « have to » get into bed? Then you would probably agree with the fact that children who suffer from lack of sleep tend to have anger issues or tend to have difficulties socializing and spending time with children without it ending up in a catastrophic situation every time. The main problem is much deeper than that. You have to be aware that children who suffer from lack of sleep at a young age are very likely to develop mental disorders later on, especially anxiety and depression.
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For instance, have you ever noticed how you child tends to be much less stimulated than usual by « happy events » such as birthdays or presents? They just seem to be less happy and excited about life. And that is because the parts of the brain that are activated under any kind of emotion felt by your child are highly sensitive to lack of sleep. That actually causes your child to have a harder time processing their emotions and simply identifying and/or understanding them. That may lead your child to interpret fear as indifference or anxiety as fun, etc. When in reality, the brain needs enough energy and sleep to be able to associate dangerous situations with anxious feelings and happy situations with joy and smiles.
It is believed that as much as 40% young boys don’t get enough sleep and this might very well explain their hyperactive behavior.
It may sound far-fetched, but sleep actually helps your child with socializing and bonding with their relatives as well as with their friends! What happens is that at night, when sleeping, your child is very likely dreaming about their relatives and their friends, which contributes to a more positive behavior as well as better real life bondings with their surroundings.