Let Kids Sleep

There is perhaps nothing more pleasing than the sight of a sleeping child. Their innocence shows on their faces. The hustle and bustle of the world could be a million miles away as they seem totally at peace. Most parents and perhaps many strangers would know that getting them to sleep is not an easy task. Armed with insane levels of energy and the fear that sleep will eat into their play time, many children refuse to fall asleep. Or sleep enough if they do. Sleep is perhaps one of the most important activities for them.

Sleep promotes growth in children. This is because growth hormones are secreted at night. There is increasing evidence that lack of sleep has an impact on the weight of a child. When your child sleeps the brain flushes out dead cells and removes them. This only happens at night. It is during sleep that the child actually learns by absorbing what was thrown at her during the day. The connections between different lessons and consigning it to memory occurs at night. This is vital to learning. Of course it goes without saying that sleep ensures adequate alertness that allows the child to get through the day.

Depending on how old they are, children need between 10-14 hours of sleep. New born children manage to put in even 18. There cannot be a bigger blessing than the ability to sleep at will, regardless of what you are going through in life. These lessons are best learnt early in life. This means you – parents. Doctors say the best way to achieve this is to follow a routine. Make your child do the same things everyday such as changing into night clothes, drinking a warm drink, turning the lights down, slipping into bed or reading a night story. Once your child is habituated, she will not be able to do without.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.