Transitioning from summer hours to back-to-school hours is difficult for most children and many adults. The circadian rhythm is easily confused and difficult to reset. However, children younger than age five need 11 to 13 hours of sleep each night. Children age six to eleven should get 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Everyone older than age 12 should strive for nine hours of sleep at night.
So much work by the human body is done while the body sleeps. It takes as long as it takes for the body to repair, rebuild and grow in a healthy manner. The brain is sorting and cataloging all information it receives each day. Shorten the hours of sleep and you shorten the ability of the brain to assess any new information it receives. This may lead to Attention Deficit Disorder.
The following health and social behaviors can be decreased or eliminated when children get the required hours of sleep each night, provided they don't have a chronic illness:
- Attention Deficit Disorder/with or without hyperactivy
- Depression or sadness
- Poor concentration in school
- Inability to retain new information
- Poor choices
- Falling asleep in school or while driving
Sleep is the time all bodies need to repair and brains need to absorb and understand new stimuli. A child who wakes up groggy and unpleasant is not a joy to work with by parents or teachers. Think of it like Disney World or Dollywood, while guests are sleeping, hundreds of thousands of Disney employees go to work to re-set the props, take out the trash, maintenance the park overall and restock.
Children with less than average sleep for their age group can develop allergies, chronic headaches, stomach/digestive issues and more. The question parents must ask themselves is this, "Would I rather have to get harsh with my children about going to sleep or deal with a fussy, unhappy, chronically tired child who is prone to depression?
Sleep: It is the most natural of natural medicine and absolutely necessary for proper growth of the brain and body. Getting enough sleep helps kids build better immune systems. For parents and kids, it is worth the effort to get kids to sleep on time. It pays off big time.