What we learned: kids and sleep

Everything We Learned about Sleep and Kids in 2015

by Sleep Number

Is your child getting the right amount of sleep? That's one question every parent must face. Check out the latest sleep tips from 2015 that can help insure your kids get the proper rest they need.

How sleep effects the physical and mental wellbeing of our children was front and center at this year's SLEEP 2015, the 29th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Here's the three biggest outcomes from the most recent studies on the connection between happy kids and a full night's sleep.

1. The Brain Cleanses Itself

It makes sense that our bodies need sleep in order to refresh from the exertion of energy that day. However, recent studies proved that our brains use our sleep to refresh in the same way our muscles do. It's been discovered that during sleep the brain cleanses itself, and clears out the waste create from normal activity.

When we sleep, the system in our brains is fully open, and allows for a complete cleanup. That's why the brain waits for sleep to take care of its own rehab. One theory on why the brain cleans itself during sleep is that the process is energy-expensive, which makes sense why the brain would wait until other processes have shutdown before cleaning its own pipes.

Recent guidelines from The National Sleep Foundation advise for preschoolers to get 10 to 13 hours of sleep, kids between 6 and 13 to get 9 to 11 hours, and 8 to 10 hours of sleep for teenagers. Important chemicals like growth hormone are produced mainly overnight. Getting a good night's sleep isn't just good for your health, but the driving force of so many changes in our bodies.

SleepIQ Kids, from the good people at Sleep Number, helps kids get a great night sleep by evolving the comfort of the mattress as your child grows up. The SleepIQ Kids™Bed makes sure that your child's comfort is taken care of, no matter if they are starting kindergarten or graduating High School,

2. How Lack of Sleep Correlates with ADHD

We've all seen that drowsy look in our children's eyes after they get a bad night's sleep, but what we don't see is how that lack of sleep can play out during their regular day. Some studies found that kids who were lacking quality sleep were more prone to being misdiagnosed as ADHD. The same symptoms that would present as ADHD were on display with kids lacking the recommended amount of sleep. A good night's rest can pay off when it comes to being a great student.

Some studies also pointed out that fine motor skills in children who suffer from ADHD were reduced with more sleep. ADHD isn't the only concern from kids dealing with sleep debt. Scientists have discovered a higher risk for obesity and diabetes among kids who aren't snoozing enough. One theory is the lack of sleep can effect the rate that the body metabolizes glucose. If all of that wasn't scary enough, lack of sleep makes your kids more likely to get sick.

The SleepIQ Kids™Bed system lets parents see exactly how their kids are sleeping. Find out just how much they were tossing and turing by checking out your nightly reports of their sleep patterns. You can then adjust their mattress to help encourage positive sleep habits.

3. The Power of a Positive Sleep Environment

There isn't a more intimate environment than our bedrooms. Kids need a positive environment that will foster a great night's sleep. One of the easiest steps to helping create that is by moving all electronics out of the room. We're all plugged into our fast paced world, but the bed should be an electronic free zone. Some studies have found that staring at screens before bed can delay the brain's ability to shutdown.

Distractions aren't the only thing you should eliminate from your kid's room. Some allergens, such as secondhand smoke, could result in bouts of insomnia. Giving your kids an allergen-free room is a simple way to increase their sleep time.

SleepIQ Kids™ lets the whole family learn what helps them sleep the best. That's one way that SleepIQ Kid™ encourages your kid to set up their best sleep routine.

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