Sleep Deprivation Can Have Serious Consequences for Your Whole Family

If you’re like most parents, the minute you sink into your mattress at night you gratefully sigh and fall asleep after peeking at a magazine or book for a minute. Children, on the other hand, usually pop up out of bed several times to use the bathroom, text their friends, rummage through the fridge or even go on their computer for some Facebook time. Unfortunately, most parents have no idea that their children are seriously sleep deprived or how much that can negatively impact their physical and mental health. Here is a look at what happens if you don’t get enough shut eye.

 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there really is no right or wrong answer to the question of how much rest children need. Essentially, it depends on the person. Some people – kids included – just don’t need as much pillow-time as others, and it would be unrealistic to make a child get twice as much sleep as his body tells him he needs. However, as a general rule of thumb, your pre-schooler needs between eleven and thirteen hours of sleep a night, kids up to age 12 need about ten hours of sleep and teenagers can usually do well with eight hours.

 

In order to establish how much sleep you or your children need, it is suggested that regular bedtimes are established, as this routine will eventually trigger the brain into “sleep mode”. Darken rooms, quiet sounds and have everyone turn off the electronics. Gradually, true sleep patterns will emerge and you will find out who needs six hours of sleep and who needs twelve based on this experiment. Once you know who needs what, you can enforce their sleep schedules if needed.

 

Going with the proper amount of sleep for children can be very unhealthy, to say the least. Here are some side effects sleep deprivation has on children:

 

  • Greater risk of obesity
  • Poorer GPA and test scores
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Low self esteem
  • Lack of energy
  • Greater risk of Diabetes
  • Higher amount of improper behavior, especially irritability

 

Here are some effects sleep deprivation can have on parents:

 

  • Greater risk of motor vehicle accidents
  • Higher BMI
  • Greater risk of substance abuse problems
  • Poor memory retention
  • Moodiness

 

Clearly, you and your family really need to get a good night’s rest. It may not only improve your health but may also improve your family relationships as well. Start your program to get your family’s shut-eye time on the right path!

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