“Your brain needs sleep, so you can remember what you learn, pay attention and concentrate and solve problems and think of new ideas,” said, Cindy Davis, director of Cardiopulmonary Services of Gordon Hospital.
Davis explained that children that get enough sleep are more likely to function better and are less prone to behavioral problems and moodiness.
“After a full night of sleep, you wake up ready for a new day of school, fun activities and family time. You use a lot of energy to go to school, play outside at recess, do your homework, go to piano lessons and eat dinner with your family. By the end of the day your body becomes driven to sleep,” Davis said.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, kindergartners should get 12 to 13 hours of sleep; kids in grades one through five should get 10 to 11 hours of sleep, and teenagers should around nine hours of sleep.
Davis said if a youngster is having trouble sleeping there are some things you can do to help your child get a good night’s rest:
Pediatricians say children could also have some of the same sleep disorders that many adults suffer from.
Some of those include obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy.
Although indicators of a sleep issue are often more subtle in kids, experts say there are some common signs to look for in children.
They are daytime sleepiness, unexplained irritability, difficulty in concentrating; unexplained headaches; especially morning headaches and unrefreshing sleep at night.
Pediatricians agree that sleep problems don’t magically disappear, so it is important for parents to identify them early.
The most important thing for parents to keep in mind is that parents should start helping their children develop good sleep habits early on.
“You are like a car, with your gas tank full in the morning, and empty by the end of the day,” Davis said. “A full tank gives you enough energy to stay busy and do your best the next day.”