The Importance of SleepMay 23, 2019
No matter your age, sleep is critical to your health. Here are some reminders about the harmful effects of sleep deprivation and suggestions on how you can get some more ZZs:
The effects of insufficient sleep
- Lowers immune function
- Increases the risk of obesity and possibly diabetes
- Impacts mood by increasing behavior problems and irritability
- Can lead to learning difficulties such as problems with focus, attention and memory
- May increase the risk of stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease
- Impacts risk of accidents and injuries. Data shows that almost a third of traffic accidents are related to driver fatigue.
- Increases risk of depression, memory problems, weight gain and diabetes
Tips to improve sleep
- Turn off devices: Take a break and give children a break from electronics after dinner to prepare for bedtime. Research shows that exposure to screens prior to sleep can impact melatonin levels and make rest difficult.
- Develop a routine: Doing the same thing every night can be an important signal to your body that it is time to rest. This may include a bath or shower, reading, quiet music or stories.
- Increase physical activity during the day: Doing exercise throughout the day can dramatically improve sleep quality at night – for both adults and children.
- Cut the caffeine: Many energy drinks, teas and sodas contain high levels of caffeine and can impact sleep. Switch to water at lunch time and avoid caffeinated beverages for all young children.
How much is enough?
- Click here to see a table for information on the recommended amount of sleep by age. For more information, visit the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- For more guidance on Healthy Sleep Habits and Routines from 0-5 years old, visit the Mount Sinai Parenting Center Guides by Age