There is a new study that argues that fixing your children’s sleep may improve their grades and their behavior. But how can we tell that our child is sleep deprived? Why does sleep matter? What are the signs that our school-aged child might show? The answer to all these questions is to monitor your child’s behavior, since they probably are unable to transfer what they go through in words: children either behave or misbehave! Furthermore, scientific evidence shows that sleep plays a significant role in brain development, and it is therefore important for children’s bodies to grow and mature.
Now we don’t say that all behavior problems are caused by sleep deprivation but it could cause noncompliance and hyperactivity.
Is your child irritable and fussy? Check his sleeping hours and monitor if he’s getting enough sleep.
Monthly school report
Again, low school marks might not be direct result of sleep deprivation but one sure thing is that lack of sleeping causes attention and memory loss, and lessens cognitive abilities.
How to help your child sleep well?
First of all, you have to lead by example. Develop a regular daily schedule because children flourish with routine. Ask them to go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day; leave them sleep freely during weekends to develop sense of discipline.
Second, keep up with the same sleeping routine you followed while they were infants. Make it calm and enjoyable, this will help maintaining few minutes of one-to-one communication with your child every day. Keep their bedroom clean and neat with no stimulation (toys, colored lights, loud music) at all. Be sure to make sleeping time sacred but with lots of love.
Third, if your child is a pre-teen ask him to stop playing computer-games or on the Internet, and other stimulating activities one hour before bedtime.
Finally, your child is what you eat! Keep a healthy eating pattern at home; avoid caffeine, sodas and sweets as they might cause difficulties falling asleep or cause unusual awakenings during the night