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Yes, your teenager may indeed just be lazy, but as parents we also need to realize that kids do need their sleep!  We’ll go over why children need sleep, how much sleep, and some tips for helping them get enough sleep.  Then, when they become teenagers all you will have to do is figure out if they are truly getting their needed beauty sleep, or just plain lazy!

Why Kids Need Sleep!

Kids need sleep for a variety of reasons, and some of them may surprise you.  For instance, did you know that research shows lack of sleep can actually lead to weight gain in children?  When kids (and adults!) are tired, their body makes more of a hormone that makes them hungry, and less of the hormone that makes kids feel full.  Lack of sleep also affects metabolism, slowing it down and causing a child’s body to store more of that extra food they eat as fat.
School performance can be greatly affected by lack of sleep as well, and we’re not just talking about staying awake in class.  Lack of sleep makes it more difficult for children to build memory.  Tired kids don’t recall as much information as their well-rested peers.  Social interactions in school can also be affected by lack of sleep in children.  Tired kids can exhibit bad moods (don’t we all!), but also bad judgement.  Your little angel may be more likely to make a poor decision in school and pick on others, or just plain say something mean.
So, just to review, here are some basic reasons why kids need sleep:
  • Perform Better in School
  • Better Concentration and Memory
  • Growth
  • Stronger Immune System
  • Body Development
  • Better Weight Management

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?

You might be surprised at just how much sleep experts recommend for your little one’s.  Especially if you are someone who can function on 6 hrs of sleep per night (I know I can’t!).  For the reasons we talked about above, kids need their sleep, and here’s how much:
Infants: 14 to 16 hours
Toddlers / Preschoolers: 12 hours
School-Age Children: 10 hours
Adolescents: 9 to 10 hours
Yikes!  So when your 12 year old sleeps for 10 hours, don’t be alarmed.  Even into their early teenage years, children need to get plenty of sleep.  Plus anyone that has lived through a 13 year old girl meltdown might agree that letting them sleep for 10 hours each night isn’t the worst thing that could happen.  🙂

 

Tips for Helping Kids Sleep

 We’ve listed a few tips below, but probably the #1 tip… EXERCISE!  Get out and get your kids moving for at least 60 minutes each and every day.  Active kids actually fall asleep faster and sleep longer than kids who just sit around all day.  It’s also a great idea to make sleep a priority.  What does that mean?  It simply means teaching your kids that sleep is important and making it a part of your daily routine.  Allow time for your children to “wind-down” before bed, and try to keep their bedtime schedule relativley consistent.
So, our tips are:
  • Limit Caffeine
  • Keep TV’s and Electronics Out of the Bedroom
  • Allow Time to Wind Down at Night
  • Make Sleep a Priority
  • EXERCISE
Lastly (you knew this was coming!), make sure your little one is sleeping on a quality mattress.  One thing that most parents fail to realize, is while they may like sleeping on that super-cushy mattress, it probably is NOT the best choice for your children!  A child’s mattress should offer medium to firm support for their young growing bodies.  Hand-me-down mattresses and worn-out box springs are not a good idea for kids.  While they are growing, they need to have quality sleep, and in order to do that they need a quality mattress to sleep on.
If you are interested in a high-quality mattress for your little one, check out our TruSlumber model which we created (and tested) specifically for kids.  No, it’s not the cheapest kids mattress you can find, nor did we want it to be.  We built this with the same high-quality materials and craftsmanship as our TruEssence model.  This bed will last a long time, and I would recommend looking into purchasing a Full or Twin XL size that your child may be able to use well into their teenage years as well!  Your little one may only be 42 inches tall right now, but that won’t always be the case… think ahead!
If you have any questions about children’s sleep, or mattresses for kids, please give us a call at: 844-787-3272!