Children Who Go to Sleep Late Suffer More Disorders
How important do you consider your child's rest? Learn about the disorders that may result from insufficient sleep.
The relationship between lack of sleep and various health disorders is clear. With children, it can also create poor rest habits. Keep reading to learn why children who go to sleep late suffer more disorders.
Routine is an essential part of rest, as it’s proven that children who go to bed late suffer from more disorders. From an early age, they adopt poor sleep habits.
Lack of sleep affects us all, but this stage of life requires a different amount of time to restore energy. It’s not the same for a newborn and an adult.
Sleep hours by age
The difference in amount of sleep required by different age groups is important. As we grow, we go from sleeping between 14-17 hours to just 7-8 hours as an adult. Meanwhile, school-age children need an average of 10-12 hours of sleep.
Naturally, there will be certain times when these needs change. The important thing is to respect sleep habits and amounts as much as possible.
According to a child’s age, the estimated hours of sleep needed are:
- Newborns to 12 months: 11-14 hours a day is recommended.
- Up to five years old: between 10 and 13 hours a night.
- Five to 13 years old: between nine and 11 hours a night.
- 13-17 years old: between eight and 10 hours a night.
Why do children who go to sleep late suffer more disorders?
Many disorders begin with a lack of sleep, or poor sleep habits. When we allow children to go to bed late, we may be increasing the chances of the following conditions:
- Insomnia: due to their lack of education in sleep hygiene, children don’t internalize sleep patterns that lead to quality rest. For this reason, going to bed late leads to lighter sleeping, waking up frequently, and, ultimately a lack of rest.
- Childhood fatigue: failure to respect sleep hours will make a child more tired. Wake-up time can be the same every day on school days, and it can vary on weekends. In both cases, children can’t maintain stable daily and nighttime routines, given that they haven’t had enough rest.
- Apathy: children displaying this disorder experience a state similar to depression. They don’t feel like doing anything, nor do they show interest in things. Their emotional state is affected by constant low energy, which makes them more isolated.
- Anxiety: lack of consistent rest can cause mood swings and anxiety issues. Thoughts that produce anxiety are sustained or aggravated by the lack of sleep.
“The art of relaxing is part of the art of working.”
– John Steinbeck
As long as normal sleep patterns are maintained, a child can occasionally be allowed to stay up late. The point isn’t to establish a strict schedule with no exceptions, but rather to be flexible where appropriate.
Your child should recognize when a situation is an exception, and when they have to stick to the daily schedule. In terms of advice to help you guide them in learning proper rest habits, consider the following.
- A stable schedule: going to bed at one time and getting up at another. You and your child can create a schedule that will always be the frame of reference.
- A relaxing environment: the child’s bedroom should be a temple of rest. Try to avoid distracting factors like television or video games. Your child needs their room to be a space specifically designed for sleep.
- Preparing for bed: before going to sleep, your child should be in a relaxing situation. Avoid too much stimulation through action and horror movies, or video games. To this end, encourage them to read or listen to relaxing music.
- Regular conversation: anything troubling your child will stay with them when it’s time for bed. For this reason, it’s recommended that you talk about anything that may be preoccupying them, allowing for a relaxed state when it’s time for bed.
- Monitor nutrition: It’s important to pay attention to what your child eats. Some food is stimulating, which can interfere with a normal sleep schedule.
In conclusion, you need to pay as much attention to your child’s rest routine as you do to their nutrition or studies. In the long run, children who go to sleep late suffer the consequences in terms of mood and performance of daily activities.