We all want our kids to be super performers. And as parents, we do all we can, right?
But often, we forget that they need to be rested as well – that they won’t be able to go and give their best until they get their share of shut eye.
Kids are increasingly feeling the pressure of keeping up with the competition, and often end-up compromising on their sleep. But this is certainly not a healthy trend.
Sleep and Learning
“Good sleep is essential for kids to concentrate better in their classes and process and retain the information,” says Dr. Himanshu Garg, Sleep Specialist and Director, Aviss Health. Sleep helps students to think, plan, and act clearly, and also help them with decision making.
How can you evaluate sleep in your children?
It’s relatively easy. Start with asking yourself a simple question: “How is the child sleeping?” Also see whether the kids:
- Feel restlessness in sleep
- Wake up during the night
- Kick legs in sleep
- Experience excessive sleepiness / drowsiness during the day
You should evaluate your kid’s sleeping patterns regularly, or at least when he/she is beginning his/her school year. This will help in early identification and treatment of sleeping problems, and thus your kid will be able to start the school year completely alert and ready to learn.
If you find something suspicious indicating towards a potential sleep problem:
Immediately see a sleep specialist. There’s nothing to worry about. But do not delay seeing a specialist. The earlier a problem is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment is likely to be. The specialist will likely ask you and your child questions about sleep, medical history, whether a sleep disorder runs in the family, your lifestyle, etc. Basis this interaction, he/she can recommend the kid some medications or may ask for a sleep study.
A sleep study is an overnight test to assess the sleep pattern of the individual and diagnose any potential sleep disorder.
Most of the parents in India are generally not aware of sleep disorders – and this ignorance often costs their children their health. So if you feel your child might have a sleep problem, please make sure to visit a sleep specialist.
Steps you can take at home to help your kid sleep better:
Most of us are leading a sedentary lifestyle wherein we seem to have distanced ourselves from the very idea of exercising. As responsible parents, we have to reach out to our kids and motivate them to take up regular exercise. You can send your kid for swimming classes, for self-defense classes, or Yoga or meditation classes. Regular exercise helps control weight, improve metabolism, and induce sound sleep.
Don’t stress your kid. We have to understand that not all students can be the topper, the way not all fingers on our hand can be of equal length. All kids have their unique strengths and weaknesses. As parents, we just have to support and nurture the talent in our kids and not overwhelm our kids with unrealistic expectations. Keep a healthy communication with your kid so that he/she can tell you all that bothers him/her and go to bed with complete peace of mind.
Food is integral to our survival. But the changing lifestyle has also made us change our food and eating habits. We have got more into junk foods and distanced ourselves from seasonal veggies and fruits and grains. It’s time we introduce them back into our diet.
Additionally, you can design your kid’s room to be less noisy and more comfortable. Also limit their usage of their mobile phones and gaming consoles.
For more on child sleep disorders and their treatments, speak to the sleep specialists at Aviss Health. Our contact details are here.