If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial. I will post specific information for parents and children based on my book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Please do not be put off by my book’s length. This is a reference book. Read only the topic of interest to you.
However, if your child is awake when the brain shifts into sleep mode, and then later, your child falls asleep, poor quality sleep occurs. The reason for this is that keeping your child awake when the brain wants to sleep creates a state of neurologic hyperarousal in your child. This higher state of arousal makes it more difficult for your child to easily fall asleep and to stay asleep.
Parents can help their child sleep well:
All the organs in the body, the heart, the liver, the lungs, the kidneys, and the brain require glucose for energy and oxygen to function.
But the brain is the only organ in the body that has an absolute requirement for sleep.
This is a biologically adaptive response that developed so that primitive man could hunt longer, fight harder, or flee danger faster to survive, even when short on sleep. It’s like a second wind or a turbo boost to be used under life-or-death situations.
In children who are short on sleep, in the late afternoon or in the early evening, this second wind is sometimes called ‘the witching hour’ because the child appears ‘wired’ or out-of-control.
Similarly, for the bedtime, late in the evening, your child is at a higher level of neurological arousal. Thus, moving the bedtime earlier before hyperarousal occurs, makes it easier for your child to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night and early in the morning. By moving the bedtime earlier your child might sleep in later in the morning.
Sleep begets sleep.
It’s not logical, it’s biological!
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