Sleep: What Children Need to Stay Healthy

Published on: June 25, 2012

Sleep is essential for health, emotional well-being and memory. The body manages and requires sleep in the same way that it regulates eating, drinking and breathing. By Neissha Thagie   During sleep, the body renews its organs, short-term memories are transformed into long-term memories — including facts and event recollection — and skills are developed through repeated practice. Lack of sleep affects nearly every area of daily life, affecting performance in work and play.

How much sleep do they need?

Children need more sleep than adults. It is important that they have a bedroom environment that promotes relaxation and consistent schedules that will bring about adequate sleep for their developing brain. Children who do not get enough sleep may show traits of hyperactivity or aggressive behavior. This may lead to difficulties in learning and skills improvement. In her article “How Much Sleep Do Children Need?”[1], Dr. Martha Burns, author, speech pathologist, and neuroscientist, wrote that experts recommend 12-15 hours of sleep for infants and 10-13 hours of sleep for toddlers, preschoolers, and primary school students.

Bedtime activities

One way to create an environment suitable for sleep is to tell or read stories for 15-30 minutes before bed every night. Two benefits of this activity are to calm the child and prepare them for sleep, and to introduce the repetition of words and sentence forms before attending school. This method also works when settling children down for a car ride or plane trip, helping them be able to stay still for a long period of time[2]. Another sleep-related activity is to keep a Sleep Log (SLOG). Just keep a pen or pencil and a notebook near the child’s bed, and let them write down their dreams and everything about the dreams immediately after waking up. By keeping a record of sleep behavior and dreams each night, they will get better at remembering what happened in their dreams[3]. Sleep plays an important role for children. Provide them with better and adequate sleep. It is what they need to keep healthy, with a well-developing brain and memory for successful learning and daily life.  


[1] [2] [3] Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay  

About the Author

Neissha and her husband, Naresh, are founders of BrainFit Studio Thailand. Along with a team of professional trainers, they work with children aged 5-18 helping them to succeed in school and in life. For more details, please visit:
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