TOPIC / Baby

Tired parents and tired children is a recipe for disaster

It is not uncommon for children to feel tired after all, their bodies are growing and they have very busy days playing and exploring. Not getting enough sleep at night and even being hungry can also make a child tired. … For many kids, the best way to prevent daytime tiredness is going to bed on time and getting a good night’s sleep.

A survey of a thousand parents with children aged three and under by the UK reading charity BookTrust, found 78% believe lack of sleep is the hardest part of being a new parent, with many claiming they’d pay money to put an end to sleepless nights.

More than half of parents (60%) also said they need help on creating a consistent and successful bedtime routine.

Supernanny, Jo Frost has commented that “The solution doesn’t need to be complicated regimes or expensive gizmos. A routine as simple as a bath, book and bed can get young children to settle so everyone can benefit from a good night’s sleep.”

Napping is not just for toddlers as now, there are facts to back up the long-term benefits for school children, thanks to research carried out by University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and University of California (UC), Irvine, and published in SLEEP journal.

Examine Kids Sleep Habits

This study followed the napping habits of nearly 3,000 primary school children, aged ten to 12 years. With a definite link found between regular napping and happiness, self-control, grit,  behavioural problems and higher IQ. According to Adrian Raine, Penn neuro-criminologist and co-author on the paper, the strongest findings were associated with academic achievement. “Children who napped three or more times per week benefit from a 7.6 percent increase in academic performance in Grade 6,” he says.

Tired Kids?

Jianghong Liu, Penn Associate Professor of nursing and public health, says drowsiness affects up to 20 percent of all children. It’s rare to have the opportunity to carry out research on older children because many kids stop napping as they age.

Chinese Kids have daytime naps

Part of Chinese culture is to nap during the day so for this reason, Liu and Raine, together with their research team, went to examine children’s napping habits at the China Jintan Cohort Study.

“It was the first comprehensive study of its kind,” says Sara Mednick, UC Irvine sleep researcher. “Many lab studies across all ages have demonstrated that naps can show the same magnitude of improvement as a full night of sleep on discrete cognitive tasks. Here, we had the chance to ask real-world, adolescent schoolchildren questions across a wide range of behavioural, academic, social, and physiological measures.”

Naps can lead to greater happiness!

With two kids who both stopped napping around 2-3 years of age, the thought of trying to force them to nap seems really unattractive, after all, there is only so much I can do, especially for my over-active son. I do, however, believe creating healthy sleeping patterns is the key to successful weight control, brain development, and a healthy mind and body. A good way to encourage sleep is to create a dark room with Removable Blackout  Blinds which adhesive to your windows. Implementing sleep routines in children’s lives is an important factor for creating happy Kids, so the next time your child begs to stay up until the next add break consider, are you their friend or their parent and send them off to bed so that they can have an alert day at School tomorrow.


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