The toll of sleep deprivation in children

Estimated read time 1 min read

The ideal amount of sleep for healthy functioning differs from one child to the next (see page 39). But research shows that maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule is a part of good sleep hygiene regardless of age. Everything from light exposure to mealtimes can influence circadian rhythms and the release of hormones such as melatonin, and ultimately affect sleep.

Insufficient sleep can severely impair a child’s functioning, causing daytime fatigue, poor health and weaker immune function. Sleep-deprived children can also suffer from mood disturbances and problems with emotion regulation.

“When adults are tired, it’s pretty obvious—we’re yawning all day, we want to sleep, we’re dragging,” Walsh says. “With kids, you tend to see more irritability, grouchiness and emotional dysregulation.”

Published by : American Psychological Association

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