If there is one thing that parents want, it is for their kids to sleep. Whether they are infants or teenagers, getting them to sleep an appropriate number of hours is a never ending struggle. You have been told that getting enough rest is important for the mind, but do you realize all of the things that happen to your kid's body when they don't get enough sleep?
The University of Michigan Health System reports that children need as many as 16 hours of sleep per day when they are first born. By the time they turn 16, teens should be sleeping no less than nine hours per night. As parents, we know that between homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities, our children are lucky to get a full eight hours, especially with school start times as early as 7 a.m. in some parts of the country.
Other factors that can keep our kids awake are electronics, stressing about schoolwork or exams, drinking caffeine, high intensity activities right before bed (such as exercising or a particularly difficult assignment), and medications. Some medicines to treat allergy or other health conditions make falling asleep more difficult.
It's important to watch out for the signs of sleep deprivation in your child, and make yourself familiar with its side-effects. Here are a few things that can happen to a child's body when they aren't getting the right amount of sleep.