Adequate sleep is a vital life source and necessary for the human body to be able to fully function. Whilst asleep our body and brain is rejuvenated, the energy and essential reserves tapped into during the day are replenished and our body's natural hormonal & chemical balances are also restored during this restful time.
Sleep deprivation in toddlers and children continues to increase and sadly has some very serious and far reaching consequences.
The problem is that sleep deprivation is accumulative and whilst the odd late night for a child will not have any long term negative impact, continually difficult bedtimes and disrupted or disturbed night time sleep can have some unpleasant long term side effects:-
Poor emotional development which hinders the normal development of a child's social skills.
Lack of concentration which leads to impaired learning.
It can easily lead to behavioural issues and unnatural outbursts of aggression.
Higher anxiety & frustration levels.
The body's immune system's ability to fight infection is lowered which means, not only is the child more susceptible to the usual coughs, colds, infections etc., but it also increases the risk of long term health problems.
It can also impede a child's brain development which can induce behavioural problems that often mirror symptoms of ADHD.
Its a Philosophy
Babies and children change constantly and I really want parents to think of healthy sleep not as a training session, but as a whole family philosophy. Sleep is a priority. We have routines in place that support it, and then when the lights go out, we’re all in charge of our own sleep: getting comfortable, self-settling, thinking the right thoughts and pulling up the blankets.
When you approach sleep this way, you won’t be fazed or frustrated with things like teething, traveling, illness, or transitioning into the big bed. A few bumpy nights are normal, but then when you return to your family sleep philosophy, everyone returns to sleeping well.