We can all see that sleep is vital for good health and academic performance, but it’s also crucial for cognitive development in children. To learn a little more about exactly why sleep is so important, read the following overview brought to you by The Tutoring Center in Whittier.
We are all familiar with the effects of a bad night’s sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep for just one or two nights, you can expect to feel irritable, sluggish, tired, and unable to think clearly. Lack of sleep also has a marked impact on our ability to process information efficiently and to remember things, so it can have an extremely negative effect on school performance. Short-term lack of sleep also affects the immune system, weakening it and making you more prone to falling sick. A whole range of studies have demonstrated that a good night’s sleep is necessary to maintain attention span, aid learning, and solve problems.
Your body performs most of its self-maintenance during sleep, so if you don’t get enough sleep your body has less opportunity to undertake necessary repairs such as maintaining blood vessels and growing new brain cells. Studies show that chronic lack of sleep drastically increases the risk of everything from heart disease to obesity. This is true of all ages, but can be especially damaging during a child’s developmental stages. Another key event that takes place during deep sleep is the increased production of human growth hormone and associated growth of muscle tissue and bones; if a child does not get enough sleep, it can actually negatively affect their physical growth and development.
How to help
Make sure your child has good ‘sleep hygiene’ by doing the following:
- Make sure there is no TV in their bedroom, and encourage them not to use electronic devices for a couple of hours before going to bed, as these have been shown to negatively affect quality of sleep and the ability to fall asleep in the first place.
- Encourage your child not to use their bed for anything other than sleeping. It’s very comfy, so it can be tempting to lounge around in bed on a laptop or reading a book, but if you only use your bed for sleeping it encourages you to subconsciously associate bed with sleep and aid in both falling and staying asleep.
- Establish a set bedtime and make sure they stick to it. This will train their body to naturally fall asleep at this time.
- Help them relax in the hours leading up to bedtime by getting them to take a bath with some soothing essential oils in and reading them a story.
- Make sure they’re getting enough exercise as this is crucial for good sleep, but try to get them to avoid exercising too close to their bedtime as this may actually keep them awake.
If your child is having difficulty with their reading, math, grammar, or any other academic area, please don’t hesitate to contact The Tutoring Center
for assistance. Our professional tutors offer targeted support, utilizing our Geniuses in training academic programs
to help your child excel at school. Call 562-699-0218
to organize tutoring in Whittier