Kids Need Sleep Too: Here’s What Happens To A Child’s Body If They Don’t Get Enough

Every mom knows the importance of getting a good night’s sleep.

Having little ones running around and a newborn can almost make sleep seem impossible – and many moms know all too well at how their body is affected by lack of sleep.

But studies now show sleep just isn’t important for new moms – it’s important for kids too.

And if children don’t get enough sleep each night – the consequences to their little bodies are disastrous. 

Here are the ways not sleeping enough could damage a child. 

Physical Health Problems

If a child doesn’t get enough sleep each night, it can weaken their immune system leaving them more susceptible to getting sick.

And if a child has irregular bedtimes (going to bed and getting up at different times each day), this could actually affect their circadian rhythm (internal body clock) and cause delays in brain development. 

It’s also shown children who are on their devices or watching TV before bed have a more difficult time sleeping, as the blue light interferes with their body’s ability to know it’s time to sleep.

Some children even report headaches or other physical symptoms from not sleeping well. 

Fuzzy Thinking

A child who doesn’t get enough sleep might have trouble making decisions.

With a tired brain and body, they end up walking around looking like zombies.

And if they’re tired, chances are they won’t be able to concentrate well in school – and they can even fall asleep during class!

Not to mention they’re likely to be more irritable and cranky, and might even burst into tears due to sleep deprivation. 

Shorter Life Expectancy 

Perhaps the most shocking result of lack of sleep in kids is the fact they could actually end up living shorter lives.

An alarming study revealed that children who don’t get enough sleep age at the cellular level.

Parents reported:

“The study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, looked at more than 1,500 9-year-old kids born between 1998 and 2000. And what researchers found is kinda fascinating: Little ones who sleep less actually age faster at a cellular level.

Here’s the science behind the study: Kids who get less sleep have shorter telomeres, which are the end caps of chromosomes. Shorter telomeres equal an older cellular age. Specifically, researchers found that for each hour less a child slept at night, they had a 1.5 percent shorter telomere length.”

If that’s not a strong motivation to make sure your child gets enough sleep – not sure what else is! 

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So, How Much Sleep Do They Need

Your gut might think it’s exactly 8 hours, but this isn’t true.

It’s estimated newborn babies up to a year-old need 14, even 15 hours of sleep each night. 

Toddlers up to age 3 average about 13 hours.

Children ages 3-6 should be sleeping about 10-12 hours a night.

And children ages 7-12 need about 10 hours of sleep.

As we age, we need less sleep, but it’s critical to make sure your child is getting enough shut-eye each night – it just might prolong their life! 

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