Sleep is an important part of everyone’s routine and an inseparable part of a healthy lifestyle, including toddlers. Toddlers and children who regularly get adequate amounts of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health.
To understand the benefits of sleep for the growth and development of toddlers and children, parents need to understand about what the body does while sleeping, how to sleep healthy, what can happen when toddlers do not get the right amount of sleep, and the best quality of sleep. Parents also need to understand the role of sleep in its benefits on mental health, learning, and social behavior.
Benefits of Sleep for Toddler Mental Health
Toddlers and children who consistently sleep well at night usually have more creative characters, have concentration power, have good problem solving abilities, have more energy during the day, and can create and maintain good relationships with others.
Children who consistently sleep less than ten hours a night before the age of three are more likely to have hyperactive and impulsive problems. Symptoms of sleep deprivation are similar to ADHD, which is impulsivity and distraction. Tired children can become impulsive and disturbed even though they do not actually have ADHD.
It is not known how many children have been misdiagnosed with ADHD, but it often happens to rule out sleep problems on the part of the diagnosis. Parents need to know that adding at least 27 minutes of extra sleep per night can make it easier for children to regulate moods and impulses so they can focus on their learning. Children with ADHD also appear to be more susceptible to the effects of too little sleep.
Enough Sleep Can Improve Learning
A toddler may look peaceful while sleeping, but in fact his brain is busy all night. Research shows that newborns and toddlers actually learn in their sleep. Maybe parents realize that the ability of babies and toddlers increases when they wake up.
In addition to sleep at night, nap also has an important role. Naps are very good for improving children’s memory. Making sure the child has enough sleep may not be easy, especially in working parents, a bedroom full of electronic devices.
Parents need to know that the quality of children’s sleep also depends on the quality of parental sleep. If parents are still active in the room while the child is sleeping, then the child actually knows and is disturbed by it. For that, parents need to teach children to exercise and eat healthy foods so that children still get good quality sleep.
Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation in Toddlers
Inadequate sleep every night can have negative consequences for children. Because lack of sleep can not always be replaced with extra sleep the next night. Over time, if the child does not get enough quality sleep can cause a variety of behavioral, cognitive (mental) and emotional symptoms.
Physical symptoms that occur include:
- Difficult to wake up in the morning.
- Fall asleep after waking up and parents have to wake him up again or repeatedly.
- It often evaporates during the day.
- The function of the immune system is reduced, so they may get sick more often.
While cognitive symptoms (mental) that are no less important are:
- Lack of interest, lack of motivation, and attention.
- Difficulty learning new lessons or abilities.
- Increase forgetfulness.
- Increases moodiness and irritability.
- Impulsivity increases.