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As kids get back to school, balancing homework with sports and time with friends, parents typically ask, “How much sleep do they need?”

The answer depends upon your child’s age. Typically, elementary school children require 9 -10 hours, and middle and high school kids need about 8.5-9 hours.

There’s good reason to make sure school-aged kids get the rest they need. A proper night’s sleep restores and clears a brain’s function after daily activities, it consolidates experiences, and maximizes learning potential. It also improves mood, boosts the immune system and increases endurance. sleep deprivation can cause fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, low resistance to infections, anger outbursts and flare ups of chronic conditions. Those can include asthma, eczema, acne and excessive weight gain.

What’s more, during sleep the pituitary gland produces growth hormone. We need growth hormone not only for linear growth, but also for protein, fat and sugar metabolism. growth hormone deficiency can cause diabetes, obesity, delayed puberty, decreased bone density, poor memory and social withdrawal. Cell and tissue regeneration and healing also depends upon growth hormone, and therefore, on sleep.

Sometimes health issues, such as thyroid diseases, anemia, vitamin D deficiency, sleep apnea (due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids, anxiety, depression and substance abuse) or ADHD, can cause sleep depravation. Further, the medications taken for these conditions can cause insomnia, compounding the issue.

Fortunately, the most common triggers of sleep disturbances are poor sleep hygiene.

How can you help your children get proper rest?

1.Be a good role model. stick to a schedule for yourself. keep bedtime routine warm and cordial, but short. in some cases guilt-ridden working parents prolong the bedtime routine, motivating “curtain calls,” when the child cannot work out to sleep and comes out of his room repeatedly. That ought to be discouraged. kids ought to wake up at the same time in the morning even during weekends, though it might be a nuisance to parents.

2.Encourage physical activity. Being exhausted from physical exertion helps tremendously. There is a well-known quote by Benjamin Franklin “Fatigue is the best pillow.”

3.Be sensitive to light. dim the lights about 1 hour prior to bedtime to increase the release of endogenous melatonin. When it’s time to wake your child up in the morning, lift the curtains and switch on the light at least half an hour before wake up time. It is valuable to increase daytime light exposure as well.

4.Keep electronics to a minimum. Backlit screens interfere with the release of natural melatonin in our bodies. Bedrooms ought to be completely totally free of electronics at night and you ought to start limiting their use 1-2 hours prior to bedtime.

5. get in the mood. A very warm shower before going to bed helps to gradually lower body temperature, which promotes falling asleep. Light classic music and massages are not for babies only. even older kids appreciate and benefit from a gentle back rub.

6. snacks allowed. A light bedtime snack is ok before brushing teeth, like a glass of warm milk with honey. nothing with caffeine ought to be served in the afternoon, including chocolate and hot cocoa.

7. keep bedrooms clean, uncluttered and well ventilated. keep the temperature around 70 degrees F, and humidity at 45% or more. The bed ought to be of a good size, not too short or narrow, with a good quality firm mattress.

8. Meditate. Relaxation and meditation techniques can be taught even to young kids. easy exercises include tightening and kicking back sequential muscle groups, like clenching teeth and letting go, curling toes and kicking back them as leaves of a palm tree, making a fist and opening it. There are some outstanding readings to master the best relaxation techniques including:

Ready… Set… R.E.L.A.X.: A Research-Based Program of Relaxation, Learning, and Self-Esteem for children by Jeffrey S. Allen, Jeffrey S. Allen, Med, Roger J. Klein;

Cool Cats, Calm Kids: Relaxation and tension management for young people by Mary Williams and Dianne O’Quinn Burke.

9. try herbal sleep aids. In instances, you may want to try the following natural remedies:

Valerian root and Passionflower are frequently used. They are pKunst af rolige tabletter, søvnløshedsformel, yogi organisk sengetid te og andre urteprodukter. De har en sikker profil og anbefales til børn.

Kamille har meget milde beroligende egenskaber, men brug forsigtighed hos børn med ragweed og relaterede planter allergi.

Lavendel kan bruges som at sparke aromaterapi tilbage. Et par dråber af den vitale olie på puden eller i badekaret er alt, hvad der er nødvendigt.

Citronbalsam er typisk sikker, men burde undgås hos børn med problemer med skjoldbruskkirtlen.

Melatonin 1-5 mg er også et sikkert alternativ, skønt større dosis kan øge anfaldsaktiviteten hos børn med epilepsi.

10. Hold sengelinned rent. Børn med allergi burde have specielle madrasser og pudebetræk. Barnet burde aldrig gå i seng med dagstøj på.

Hvis alle ovenstående af en eller anden grund mislykkes, skal du ikke fortvivle. Tal med din børnelæge. Der er læger, der har specialiseret sig i søvnmedicin og centre til søvnundersøgelser. I nogle tilfælde kan en kognitiv terapeut hjælpe med at ændre adfærdsmønstre. Du er ikke alene!

Yderligere læsning: American Academy of Sleep Medicine og Sleep Research Society og National Sleep Foundation.

Link til dette indlæg: ti forslag til at gemme dine børn om natten
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