Sleep plays a crucial role in the overall development of a child. Adequate sleep automatically makes for well-rested, active toddlers with good growth and a cheery mood. Preschoolers require about 10 to 13 hours of sleep to excel in academics and for healthy development. Studies have shown that preschool sleep is important for children for the following reasons.
- Enhances their overall thinking, reasoning or memory-based skills
- Allows them to learn better
- Helps them reach their full academic potential
- Facilitates a better memory
- Makes them less irritable
A well-rested brain can help students to
- Solve problems
- Concentrate better
- Grasp new information easily
- Stay motivated
- Pay better attention
- Behave better
- Increase alertness
A preschooler’s brain uses these sleeping hours to sort the information they have gathered during the day. It helps them to have longer retention of the knowledge they have learned.
In addition to nighttime sleep, a preschooler requires daytime naps for successful learning and development.
What are the benefits of preschool sleep on a child’s health?
Apart from learning and concentration, good sleep can have an immense impact on a preschooler’s physical and mental health. Some of the benefits include
- A healthier growth pattern is seen in children who sleep well. When asleep, their body secretes growth hormone that helps them grow.
- Build a strong immune system in the preschooler. When a child sleeps, their body produces proteins known as cytokines, which help them to fight off infection and illness.
- Regular sleep times are associated with secretion of the hormones that signal fullness after eating (satiety hormone). Sleep deprivation can interfere with the child’s satiety and encourage binging and overeating patterns in kids. Uncontrolled eating can, in turn, lead to obesity in childhood.
What are the repercussions of sleep deprivation in preschoolers?
Less sleep during the first three years of life can have negative repercussions on a preschooler. Children who tend to get less sleep during the early phase of their life can be impacted in the following ways.
- They may be hyperactive. Hyperactivity can cause short-term attention span in children, which can be detrimental to their academic excellence.
- It can increase impulsivity in children, causing behavioral problems and pose health risks. Impulsive children are more prone to accidents. A study has shown that those not receiving age-appropriate amounts of rest are more likely to have serious injuries.
How can I help my preschooler sleep well?
As a parent, you can do several things to establish a bedtime routine to ensure a preschooler gets enough sleep. Follow these tips for setting up an effective bedtime routine.
- Stick to the same bedtime during the day as well as at night. Also, stick to the same wake-up time during the school days as well as weekends.
- Try to establish a bedtime routine. For example, you can switch off the overhead lights and use dim table lamps 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Engage in some enjoyable activities such as reading a storybook or singing a lullaby.
- Make sure the bedroom is quiet, cool, dark and comfortable for sleeping. Use the bed for sleeping only. Avoid playing on the bed.
- Limit food and drink before bedtime.
- If a child has a nightmare, it is ok for them to call out or seek out their parents for comfort. However, parents should avoid sleeping with them after they calm down.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Cleveland Clinic: "Sleep in Toddlers & Preschoolers." https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14302-sleep-in-toddlers--preschoolers
Top Why Is Preschool Sleep Important Related Articles
Insomnia SlideshowWhat is insomnia? Insomnia by definition is trouble falling or staying asleep. Insomnia causes are varied. Learn 10 tips on how to get a good night's sleep and avoid sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Bed Basics and SleepSleep. It seems like the easiest thing in the world. Until it's not. See tips on how to get your best sleep. Our gallery shows you how to get plenty of it.
How Do I Choose a Developmentally Appropriate Toy for My Child?Most parents are worried about keeping their toddler or preschooler occupied in a way that will have a positive effect on their development. To choose a developmentally appropriate toy for your child choose open-ended toys, steer clear of electronics, stay away from educational toys and pick toys that will grow with your child and encourage them to be active.
Edluar (zolpidem tartrate)Edluar is a prescription sleep medication used to treat insomnia (trouble falling asleep) in adults. Serious side effects of Edluar include getting out of bed while not being fully awake and doing an activity that you do not know you are doing, abnormal thoughts and behavior, memory loss, anxiety, and severe allergic reactions.
How Can I Be a Better Parent to My Preschooler?Being a better parent to your preschooler is about leading by example, creating routines and rituals for your child, and dedicating time to play with them.
How Do I Know If My Child Is Ready for Preschool?Preschool can be exciting for some kids, whereas traumatizing for others. You know your child is ready for preschool if they are potty-trained, independent, expressive, can concentrate, is emotionally ready and has stamina.
How Many Hours Should Kids Sleep (By Age Group)?Sleep needs vary from child to child, and not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. Sleep guidelines by age can help ensure your child gets the proper amount of sleep to avoid health problems related to not sleeping enough or sleeping too much.
What Are the Milestones for a 4- to 5-Year-Old Child?Children who are four to five years of age may discover independence, creativity, self-confidence and self-control. Milestones for a 4- to 5-year-old child include milestones in fine and gross motor skills and cognitive, emotional, social, communication and language and creative development.
Kids & Sleep SlideshowFrom snoring and nightmares to sleep apnea and even you, see the bad habits that are keeping your child up all night.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include:
- Feeling sleepy during the day
- Concentration or memory problems
Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Sleep Disorders in Children and TeenagersSleep needs in children and teenagers depend on the age of the child. Sleep disorders in children such as: sleep apnea, parasomnias, confusional arousals, night terrors, nightmares, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking which can affect a child's or teen's sleep. Healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene can help your infant, toddler, preschooler, tween, or teenager get a good night's sleep.