Depending on age, children basically need more hours of sleep than adults. Sleep is an important part of a child’s mental and physical health, including the brain. This affects a child’s ability to concentrate, and a study also mentions that lack of sleep can affect a child’s brain development. The following is a complete explanation of the impact of sleep deprivation on children’s brain development and how to deal with sleep deprivation.
The Impact of Lack of Sleep on Children’s Brain Development
Sleep is a way to restore brain energy. A well-rested brain can solve problems, learn new information, and even some areas of a child’s brain become more active while they sleep, you know, Jovians.
According to About Kids Health, children who get enough sleep are generally more creative, can concentrate longer, have good problem-solving skills, and are easier to learn and remember new things.
When a child sleeps, there is a lot of new brain cell connections that are associated with cognitive abilities and long-term memory storage. Like nutrition and healthy parenting, sleep is very important for optimal child development and growth.
Over time, children’s brain development that is not optimal will cause various behavioral, cognitive (mental) and emotional symptoms.
“Sleep is very important for brain health and emotional regulation in children. Because the brain needs enough ‘brainpower’ to control automatic emotional reactions. “Children who are sleep deprived may have problems with emotion regulation and tend to be more irritable,” Holland said.
Beyond emotions, Holland’s doctor also adds to the impact of sleep deprivation on children’s brain development. Memory becomes less effective so that it interferes with children’s learning abilities.
Signs of a Sleep Deprivation Child
Some of these things can be a sign that the child is not getting enough sleep.
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Keep yawning all day
- Fall asleep
- Increased cravings for sweet foods
- Decreased interest and motivation to do daily tasks
- Often forget something
- Decreased vision
- Difficulty processing new information
- Fast changing mood
- More impulsive
- Increased stress
- The more sleep a child owes, the more tired they are mentally. Lack of sleep also makes a child’s brain slow down, so its development is not optimal.
The Right Amount of Sleep for Children
A child’s body clock, also known as a child’s circadian rhythm, is a 24-hour body cycle that tells a child when it’s time to sleep. This body clock is influenced by age, which as the child gets older, the need for sleep also decreases.
The Canadian Pediatric Society has issued general guidelines for the amount of sleep a child needs for 24 hours, including naps.
Infants 0 – 2 months: 16 to 18 hours per day
Infants 2 – 6 months: 14 to 16 hours per day
Infants aged 6 months – 1 year: 14 hours
Children 1 – 10 years: 10 to 13 hours
The amount of sleep above is just a guideline, because every child’s sleep needs are different.
How to Overcome Sleep Deprivation in Children
How to overcome sleep deprivation in children of course requires coordination of all family members at home. The best way is to set an example of healthy sleep habits in children. You can also consult a doctor if your child has severe insomnia to get more appropriate treatment.