Why Sleep is Important for Children
Toddlers and young children usually need around twelve to fourteen hours of sleep over a twenty-four hour period.
This is usually spread out over daytime and nighttime, depending on the age of the child. As they get older, they need slightly less, ranging from ten to twelve hours of sleep.
Once children are age five, they will only sleep during the night. The sleep that children need will vary. Some children will naturally need more sleep than others of the same age, and even then, circumstances can change that can alter their sleep patterns, which is why having a strong bedtime routine is important.
Why is Sleep important for my Baby or Toddler?
The reason why it is so important for young children and toddlers to get enough sleep is because their bodies really need it. There can be a number of issues that come from lack of sleep for children this age, such as:
- Behaviour becoming more withdrawn, aggressive, or hyperactive
- Emotions being more negative, such as being more anxious, irritable, depressed, and even stressed
- Being more poorly organised, often being forgetful
- Lack of concentration
- Not being able to work at their full potential, which is vital for school-age children
- Unable to problem solve and having some difficulties in social environments
- Struggles with some more abstract concepts like sciences, learning language, and maths
- More prone to accidents and a tendency to be more clumsy
- Being overweight; it is more likely in children that sleep less
- Weaker immune system, meaning that they are likely to be poorly more often
Keeping a sleeping chart could be a good idea if you want to track how much sleep your child is getting.
Then if it isn’t enough, you can focus on the things that need improving around their nighttime routine, such as reducing screen time an hour before bed, a nice warm bath or warm milk, lots of cuddles and a lovely children's bedtime story.