Sleep is especially important for children because their bodies are still developing. Poor sleep can lead to stunted growth and prevent your child from performing well in the classroom. Learn how to recognize when they aren’t sleeping enough, so you can take steps—such as buying a more comfortable kid’s bed—to improve their habits.
Signs & Effects of Poor Sleep
Children should wake up refreshed and ready to go if they’ve slept well. If you have to wake them up several times in the morning, or if they seem drowsy throughout the day, sleep may be a problem. Children may also nod off periodically or fall asleep on the car ride to and from school.
A sleep-deprived child may be hyperactive, irritable, or restless. Resulting mood swings can make them more pessimistic in social situations and negatively impact friendships. They may have trouble focusing, thinking critically, and problem-solving, which can affect their academic performance. At home, tired children will be less likely to do homework or exercise.
Long-term sleep problems may also stunt growth. Human growth hormones are released during sleep, so deprivation suppresses them and affects a child’s development. Lethargy related to poor sleep may also contribute to childhood obesity when a child isn’t active in their free time.
How to Improve Sleep
Start by establishing a routine. The average child requires 10 to 12 hours of sleep. Choose a bedtime and wake-up time that fulfills this need and gives them time to wake up in the morning.
Wind down an hour before bedtime each night. Put phones away, turn off screens, and do relaxing activities, like telling stories or reading. Your child’s body will soon adjust to sleeping at this hour and get them on a steady schedule.
You may also need to purchase a better kid’s bed and mattress. Visit a children’s furniture store and let your child try different options. Purchase one that gives them room to grow—usually a twin XL mattress and frame—and let them try different mattresses to find a firmness they like. A new kid's bed may get them excited about sleep and make it easier to enforce a bedtime.
Children may develop disorders like sleep apnea, sleepwalking, and night terrors that affect sleep quality. These may require professional care, so visit a sleep center for testing.
Flexa® Hawaii in Honolulu has a large selection of kid’s beds to explore. For over 46 years, they’ve provided high-quality, easy-to-assemble products. Browse loft beds, bunk beds, mattresses, and other children’s furniture on their website or by visiting their showroom, and call (808) 955-4434 with any questions.