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What exactly does sleep do for your Growing Child?


Children have to sleep a little longer than adults. We all know that. But what exactly does sleep do for your child? And how do you ensure that they get enough sleep? With these 10 things we will help you on your way!


1. Why your child needs sleep.

Sleep is very important for your child. Smaller bodies need time to grow and stay healthy. The muscles, including the heart, repair themselves during sleep. In addition, sleep also checks the signals that indicate when your child is full or hungry.

2. Sleep stimulates the brain.

While your child is asleep, the brain stores the memories of the day so that they can be recalled later. That is an important part of learning.

In addition, sleep is important so that the child can concentrate better at school. With enough sleep, school work is done faster with fewer errors.

3. How much sleep does my child need?

Children need more sleep than adults. A toddler needs 11 to 14 hours of sleep per day on average. Children from 3 to 5 years need approximately 11 to 13 hours. At the age of 6 to 13 a child needs 9 to 11 hours. Finally, teenagers need around 8 to 10 hours. How much they actually sleep is a completely different story.

4. Does my child need a nap?

How much your child sleeps during the day (nap) is related to how much your child sleeps at night. It varies per child, but most children stop taking naps when they are 5 years old. If they still sleep a lot during the day, they may have to go to bed earlier.

5. How do I get my child to bed?

Bedtime does not have to be a struggle. Make sure you have a routine, also during the weekend. That can be a nice bath, then brush your teeth and go to the bathroom, but make sure it always ends in the bedroom.

Do a quiet activity before bed. For example, read together in dim light. Keep screens and bright light away.

Does your child have trouble sleeping? Make sure that the bed is only meant for sleeping, not for reading, homework or games.

6. Can my teenager go to sleep on time?

It is not impossible, but not always easy either. Your teen’s internal clock ensures that she goes to bed late at night and stays up the next day.

Dim the lights in the evening, whether they want to go to bed or not. Keep the bedroom cool and tell your teen to turn off the phone, television, and computer.

Discuss with each other what time they can sleep late at the weekend. Try not to do this for more than 2 hours than the normal time.

7. Should school starts later?

It is a difficult issue for schools and parents, but there is no easy solution.

Many high schools start at 8 a.m. That makes it difficult for teenagers to get enough sleep, since many teenagers don’t get into bed before 11 am.

A later start time can give children an academic boost. Several studies have already shown that teenagers perform better and get higher grades if they get enough sleep.

8. Does my child sleep enough?

You know that your child sleeps enough when he / she: falls asleep within 15 to 30 minutes, gets out of bed easily in the morning and when he / she does not take naps during the day and at school.

9. Can sleep be a disorder?

Usually it is part of growing up when children sleep a lot or take naps. But sometimes there is a medical condition that is behind the problems. Watch out for snoring, long pauses between breaths or difficulty breathing while sleeping. Then have him or her checked for sleep apnea.

Sleep walking, nightmares or bed wetting are also signs of a sleep disorder. Check with your doctor what you can do best.

10. Is it ADHD or not enough sleep?

Adults and children do not behave the same on too little sleep. You may become very calm, but your child can become very busy. This behavior can resemble ADHD. When in doubt, the doctor can help you.

If your child does have ADHD, it is important that he or she gets enough sleep. This can help with concentration and ensures that your child is less hyper.

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