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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

This is Your Child's Brain - Sleep is Important

Sleep or more specifically, the lack of sleep can have a significant impact on your child. Research is showing that lack of sleep impacts more than just mood and alertness. It can also impact brain development, cognition, behavior (mimicking symptoms of ADHD), weight and more. I have a linked to a few articles about these impacts for you below. I pulled out a few important quotes from each article for you.

The 7 Reasons Your Child Needs Sleep

2. Sleep helps the heart.
Experts are learning more about how sleep protects kids from vascular damage due to circulating stress hormones and arterial wall -- damaging cholesterol. "Children with sleep disorders have excessive brain arousal during sleep, which can trigger the fight-or-flight response hundreds of times each night," says Jeffrey Durmer, M.D., Ph.D., a sleep specialist and researcher in Atlanta. "Their blood glucose and cortisol remain elevated at night. Both are linked to higher levels of diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease."

6. Sleep increases kids' attention span.
Children who consistently sleep fewer than ten hours a night before age 3 are three times more likely to have hyperactivity and impulsivity problems by age 6. "But the symptoms of sleep-deprivation and ADHD, including impulsivity and distractibility, mirror each other almost exactly," explains Dr. Owens. In other words, tired kids can be impulsive and distracted even though they don't have ADHD. No one knows how many kids are misdiagnosed with the condition, but ruling out sleep issues is an important part of the diagnosis, she says. For school-age kids, research has shown that adding as little as 27 minutes of extra sleep per night makes it easier for them to manage their moods and impulses so they can focus on schoolwork.

Lack of Sleep Linked to Behavior Problems in Kids

“Children who aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep have more difficulties with attention, with emotional control, with reasoning, with problem-solving, and also have behavioral problems,” lead author Dr. Elsie Taveras told Reuters Health. 

The bedtime routine should involve a winding down period with relaxing activities such as reading a bedtime story, Beebe added. “It seems old fashioned but it's very calming, it's very connecting. It can be very soothing, and it's very predictable,” he said.

7 Ways Sleep Affects the Brain (And What Happens If It Doesn't Get Enough)

If you have kids, you know that without sleep, they can be a tad difficult. Sleep deprivation in children has lots of short-term ramifications, and over the long term, it may even affect brain development. Sleep is especially important for the growing brain, which is why babies, kids and teens sleep so much.

Some studies have reported that kids who are sleep-deprived because of nighttime breathing problems are significantly more likely to have ADHD symptoms than kids who sleep well. Others have found that a little extra sleep can make a significant difference in school performance: Just 18 more minutes per night was linked to better grades in math and English in elementary school kids.

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