Why Is Sleep Important … For You and Your Child?

Today’s blog post is a guest post written by sleep consultant Tonja Bizor. She shares her professional opinion on the topic “Why Is Sleep Important” following her recent appearance on my podcast The Segilola Salami Show.

Introduction to Why Is Sleep Important

The mysteries of sleep are still unsolved. Why do we need sleep? What does it do for our body? Why do we need so much of it? Why is sleep so dang important for you and your child? Let’s discover together some reasons why we need sleep and although sleep can be a puzzle to figure out, it’s so important in our day to day lives.

Sleep is vital for your child

The mysteries of sleep are still unsolved. Why do we sleep? What does it do for our body? Why do we need so much of it? How much do we really need? Scientists are still trying to figure out the reason that we sleep and why it takes up a large portion of our day. What we know so far from sleep research is that sleep is adaptive and restorative. Sleep helps our bodies (and mind) restore, rejuvenate and reenergize. Sleep may have evolved as a protective adaptation. Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being through all aspects of our lives. Good, quality sleep can help to improve physical health, mental health, quality of life and safety.

Let’s take a look at what researchers know about the benefits of sleep for adults and children:

For adults:

• learning and memory- divided into three functions (acquisition, consolidation and recall). Consolidation is the only one of the three that occurs during sleep. It is an important aspect of learning, in that it will store the memory in the brain.

• mood- we all can relate to being irritable or fussy when we don’t get sufficient sleep. Researchers suggest that sleep deprivation negatively affects mood.

• health- 7-9 hours of sleep regularly can lower rates of obesity, high blood pressure and other health deficiencies. Sleep can increase a feeling of life satisfaction, such as a better sex life and positive work experience.

For children, quality sleep:

• produces growth hormones

• builds immune system

• work on the storage, retention and organization of memory

• increase blood supply to the muscles • restore energy • reduces crying spells during the day

• build and repair tissue

• grow mentally and physically

 

How do you get sleep for your child?

As a sleep expert, parents ask about baby sleep myths and ask how is it possible to help a baby sleep. There are several behavioral techniques that have been researched and found to be effective for children and adults. It’s important to note that there are sleep need requirements based on age from infancy into senior adulthood. These sleep needs are broken down on the National Sleep Foundation’s webpage. These sleep needs can be used to incorporate a sleep schedule for your child. Children thrive on routines and it will aid in development of healthy sleep hygiene. So, how do I get my baby to sleep better?

1. Babies need to learn to fall asleep independently without any external props. What is a sleep prop? Anything that your child absolutely needs to fall asleep. For example, feeding/rocking/holding until your baby falls asleep. Please note that this is flexible with newborns.

2. Early bedtimes are great for everyone! If you had a baby for more than a day, you know that they are early risers. Babies generally wake up between 5-7am, so bedtime needs to be somewhere between 6-8pm. The goal is to develop a 12 hour day and 12 hour night. So if baby goes to sleep at 7pm, then wake up should be around 7am.

3. Bedtime and nap routines are really important. Routines are monumental in helping a child learn to predict what is to come. It helps them to learn what is expected of them. Bedtime routines are approximately 30 minutes and nap routines are 5-10 minutes at length.

4. Consistency is key to getting your child’s sleep on a healthier track. Try to do the same routine, the same way, the same time of night and the same place. Keeping things consistent allows the child to understand and learn how to put themselves to sleep. It also helps the child avoid confusion when things are done the same way. So there’s no question that sleep, while it remains mysterious, is definitely an essential part of a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Although you’ve created a bundle of joy and the myth is that babies don’t sleep well, it’s important to note that babies can sleep well. Sleep is an intricate part of a babies growth and development in the first year. Don’t allow others to impose the idea that your baby will not sleep well because that just isn’t true! If your baby is not sleeping well, address it. It’s not a luxury, it’s not selfish, it’s not unrealistic, it’s necessary!

 

About the author

blog post why is sleep importan by tonja bizor sleep consultant expertTonja Bizor is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant and Public Speaker who helps parents teach their children healthy sleep habits. She specializes in getting children aged 3 months to 3 years old to sleep 12 hour, uninterrupted nights. She’s helped over 100 families move from sleep deprived to sleep filled nights. Tonja offers group seminars and private, one-on-one coaching with families, where she’ll develop individualized customized sleep plans for parents to follow.

Tonja completed her Masters degree in Psychology with emphasis in Clinical/Counseling. She studied under Dana Obleman and achieved her coaching Certification with the Sleep Sense Program. Tonja was a guest on Talk of Alabama on ABC and she’s been featured in numerous magazines and websites such as Romper, Military Spouse Fest, Birmingham Parent Magazine and Dr. Laura.

Link to author website: https://tonjabsleepconsulting.com/blog/

So, if you’re struggling with your child’s sleep, there are a couple of different ways she can help: an individual consultation (in-person or over the telephone) or a group seminar. Both include a customized, step-by-step plan to solve your child’s sleep problems by Tonja, your baby sleep consultant expert. The best way to decide which of these options is right for you is to call Tonja for a FREE 15-minute telephone consultation. That will give you both a chance to discuss your child’s specific situation and come up with some ideas for a solution. For your free 15-minute consultation (or to book an appointment), you can email tonja@tonjabsleepconsulting.com

 

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