When it comes to children, it seems like they can sleep all day. You just have to look at babies to know that sleep is essential to their development. Babies can sleep for 16-18 hours a day when they’re first born. As they get older, they sleep less, but they will need rest more frequently. They’ll have naps during the day to be able to handle the rest of whatever life throws at them.
But why is this sleep so important? Just what is it about growing children that requires extra sleep throughout the day? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about sleep and child development.
Some people note that their babies and children grow a few inches overnight. While the amount is disputed, it is a fact that children grow overnight. Sleep encourages the body to develop and the muscles and bones to stretch. The balance of hormones is just right to help lengthen the body.
While asleep, the growth hormone is able to be released. This tends to remain dormant during times of awake. So, a child needs extra sleep in the earlier years of life to make sure they grow quickly. As their growth starts to slow down, they don’t need as much sleep on a daily basis. During the teenage years, the hormones are all over the place, and there is a growth spurt, which could lead to more tiredness and the need for more sleep.
Studies have gone on to find out why some babies and children sleep less than the average. This is linked to the growth hormones. Those with a lower amount of this hormone don’t sleep as much or as deeply as the average child.
Sleep is just Mother Nature’s way to make sure that babies are protected and able to develop. Don’t stop your baby from sleeping if you can help it.
The growth hormone isn’t just about height, either. This is the hormone that affects muscle mass and bone density. A child that gets a good amount of sleep on a daily basis will find that they have stronger and leaner bodies. This moves us onto the next reason children need sleep.