Quality sleep is crucial to a child’s developing brain and overall well-being. Mental wellness, cognitive development, mood, and fine motor skills are just a few of the areas that may be directly impacted by sleep amount and routine. As a parent, you can help promote healthy sleep habits by concentrating on your child’s diet, physical activity and screen time.
Being mindful of what your child eats and drinks is important in many different ways. One reason is that eating healthy meals provides dietary properties that are linked to sleep quality. Multivitamins for teens and younger kids can also supplement any nutritional gaps that result from a poor or imbalanced diet. According to the National Sleep Foundation, diets that have high levels of fiber and low levels of sugar support the production of melatonin, a hormone that the body produces to help regulate your sleep cycles.
Encouraging your child to participate in regular physical activity can lead to healthy sleep patterns. Slow wave sleep, commonly known as deep sleep, is supported when you get even moderate amounts of aerobic exercise. This process is critical to brain function and development. Additionally, the stabilizing effect that fitness has on mood can also translate into quality sleep. Kids who have a regular exercise routine fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
As personal devices become a more common item for children of almost all ages to possess, it is increasingly important for you to monitor your child’s daily screen time. A Mayo Clinic article shows that excessive screen time is commonly known to affect mood, behavior and physical health. However, it also can result in irregular sleep patterns. The fallout from this that then trickles into overall health is fatigue, which can influence academic performance, and increased snacking, which can lead to weight issues.
When parents help their children learn to make healthy choices related to diet, physical activity and screen time, they are setting them up for a lifetime of quality sleep.
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