Adults generally understand the need for quality sleep, though there is a tendency to take it for granted, and we do find ways of working around it if we haven’t had enough. Children, however, don’t have these skills and the symptoms of tiredness can be difficult to live with — not to mention unhealthy. It’s up to us as adults to ensure the well-being of our children by ensuring they get the right amount of sleep — and children do need a lot of sleep — to recover from the stresses of a tough day at the playground.
It’s easy to forget that those small people in the first years of their lives are encountering the world for the very first time. Pretty much everything they look at and everything they encounter provides a new experience for the senses, and it can be exhausting.
As most parents know too well, if children are not getting sufficient sleep they get grumpy and difficult to deal with. Not only does lack of quality sleep impact on moods and alertness, but it plays a huge role in the development of the nervous system, so it’s important for children to get regular quality sleep and naps play an important part in that too. All children are different and all will need different amounts of sleep but the important thing is timing; making sure they get the sleep they need when they need it to fit their patterns. It’s also important to set regular patterns by being consistent with sleep times.
So how important is the bed? Well, not half as important as the actual time spent sleeping. Just make sure the mattress is comfortable and doesn’t sag so your child gets to lie comfortably on a bed that doesn’t cause the spine to arch. The same basic rules apply as for adults: supportive but soft enough to allow comfort around the body shape.
A good night’s sleep will not only settle your child’s moods but make them more alert and responsive. Like adults, they do need quality sleep to perform at their best.
Words: George Valani, Dream Beds