Why Healthy Sleep is Important for Your Child
Why healthy sleep is important for your child
We spend an average of one-third of our lives asleep in bed. While this may be a fact we have all heard before, it’s a figure that still loses none of its impact. Sleep is essential for each and every one of us. It restores our immune system, is required for laying down memory, renews energy levels, restores mental function and is essential for physical growth.
Sleep is especially important for the developmental growth of children; however actually getting your child into a healthy sleep pattern is often not a simple task.
So what gets in the way of healthy sleep?
There are many problems you can face when trying to ensure a healthy night’s sleep for your child, one of the most common being the issue of bedwetting. Frequent in young children and still extremely normal up to the age of five years, this is generally because the waking response is not yet fully developed.
Bedwetting is often a very traumatic experience for children and can affect their behaviour and self-esteem. However the experience can be just as stressful for parents, creating extra work and ultimately reducing the amount of sleep you and your family get.
Asthma, allergies and skin disorders can also greatly affect your child’s quality of sleep. One in four children in Australia has asthma and a child with asthma is often woken up during the night as a result of the condition. Allergies to food and environmental factors such as dust, dust mites, pets and pollen can also lead to an increased risk of asthma as well as the potential to be affected by other allergic reactions like hay fever, sinusitis, eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. As sleep is the time the body takes to repair from illnesses, the prevalence of these conditions can make healthy sleep much more difficult for your child.
What can you do?
Often the best cure for bedwetting is simply time, however looking at ways to improve the sleep environment of your child is a good way to limit its effects and deal with the problem quickly.
Creating the healthiest sleep environment possible is also a good way to limit how asthma, allergies and skin disorders can affect your child’s sleep. Many allergic reactions can actually be made worse through the presence of dust mites and dust mite allergens, bedbugs and other bacteria that get trapped in mattresses, pillows and bedding via perspiration stains. To make sure your child gets the healthiest night’s sleep possible, a hygienic sleep environment is a key factor.
1. Assess the situation – look at what is stopping your child from having a healthy night’s sleep and take action to limit the problem.
2. Get the right protection - invest in mattress protection and bedding products that will improve your child’s sleep hygiene and protect the bed from bacteria, mould, dust mites and their allergens, spills and pet allergens. Not all mattress protectors offer the same level of protection, so ensuring you have the correct protective bedding is a great way to limit exposure to allergens, and products like drawsheets/linen protectors are good methods to limit the trauma of bedwetting.
3. Adjust the temperature – kids often overeat when they have skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, so making sure the room is at a comfortable temperature can help. Some mattress protectors and linens are made from tencel and eucalyptus-based fibre that is naturally anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic. These can often help with temperature and friction.
4. Diet and exercise – avoid letting your children have sugary or caffeinated drinks at night before bed as these can keep them awake and interrupt sleep. Regular exercise and activities in the afternoon are also a great way to tire kids out and make sure they get a healthy night’s sleep.
5. Start a relaxing bedtime routine – relaxing activities conducted with lowered lights, such as reading a bedtime story at the same time each night, are a good way to get kids to switch off.
6. Ensure the room is dark – light can trick the body into waking up and interrupt sleep.
Jessica Mendez, the Protect·
Bed® Healthy Sleep Zone Nurse, is a registered nurse who assists and liaises with customers regarding their sleep health issues. If you have any questions regarding you or your child’s sleep health please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Protect·A·Bed® (originally Snugfit Australia Pty Ltd) is a proud Australian manufacturer of premium bedding protection products. Protect·A·Bed® is dedicated to improving the sleep environment of every Australian for better health and quality of sleep. Every mattress and pillow needs protection against dust mite allergens which can be a major contributor towards asthma, allergies and eczema. The range of products includes state-of-the art mattress protectors, full mattress encasements, pillow protectors, drawsheets/linen protectors, quilt protectors and cot mattress protectors designed to promote health and hygiene while allowing for an allergy-free sleep.