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Tag Archives: importance of sleep

  • 3 Reasons to Get Those Kids Sleeping

    reasons to help kids get sleepWe all know kids need to get plenty of sleep. Sleep is crucial to helping kids develop both physically and mentally, which is why they will spend approximately 40 percent of their childhood sleeping.

    I always advise that children have an early bedtime that parents stick to no matter what…unfortunately, that means leaving summertime beach parties before the bonfire starts up, or putting the kids to bed even though Grandma and Grandpa want to spend time with them after Christmas dinner. Sometimes it can be hard and parents have to stand their ground. But in the end you have a well-rested child and far less nighttime tantrums. Kids who get to stay up late with their family and crash when their parents do are far more likely to be cranky and miserable the next day.

    If you need a little more incentive for making sure your child is getting a good night’s sleep, here are my top-3 reasons to make good sleep habits a priority in your family:

    1. For your child’s health

    There are no two ways about it: experts all agree that sleep is vital to good health. Children who don’t get enough sleep are prone to a long list of potential negative side effects. Here are just a few:


    There have been many studies linking childhood obesity with lack of sleep. A recent study from the International Journal of Obesity looked at 422 children between the ages of 5 and 10. Researchers measured and weighed the children and asked their parents about their sleeping habits. They discovered that 20 percent of the boys and 24 percent of the girls studied were overweight or obese, and the  children who slept less than 10 hours a night were 3 1/2 times more likely to be overweight than those who slept 12 hours or more.

    Researchers still aren’t certain exactly why less sleep equals potential weight gain, but there are a few practical possibilities. The more tired you are, the less active you are, so a sleepy child is far more likely to sit in front of the TV with a bowl of potato chip than to run around and play tag with the neighbours. There is also some evidence that lack of sleep can trigger a hormonal response that makes you feel hungrier.


    While lack of sleep may not directly cause ADHD, a lot of the symptoms of ADHD are mimicked by kids who are not sleeping enough, such as irritability, hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating and impulsive behaviour.

    But according to the National Sleep Foundation, for kids who do have ADHD, too little sleep may significantly impact their ADHD symptoms. One study found that treating sleep problems could even be enough to eliminate attention and hyperactivity issues for some children.

    School Performance

    It seems to only make sense that kids who aren’t getting enough rest will be groggy and have trouble concentrating in school. But the research on academic performance is pretty shocking. One study showed that kids with C's, D's and F's got about 25 fewer minutes of sleep and went to bed an average of 40 minutes later than A and B students. Kids who aren’t sleeping enough just will not have the ability to focus on, or even care about, their school work.

    2. For your health

    Let’s face it, if your child isn’t getting enough sleep then you probably aren’t either. Babies and young children who consistently wake up throughout the night or go to bed late will be keeping their parents up as well. When your child goes down at 7 p.m. you will have a couple of kid-free hours to yourself to restore and revive and then you’ll still have plenty pf time to get lots of rest yourself. It’s so important for parents to take good care of themselves so they can take care of their children without feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

    3. For the health of the family

    Families who get enough sleep often claim to be more fulfilled. Being tired causes grumpiness, irritability and impatience, so families who aren’t sleeping well will be less likely to have fun together and be active when they’re battling fatigue.

    Teaching your children to take care of themselves by getting enough sleep is one of the biggest gifts you can give them, and it starts with your family habits. Sleeping well as a child will set them up for being a well-adjusted adult with less likelihood for issues like insomnia when they’re older.

    Sleep Sense Founder Dana OblemanGuest Blog by Dana Obleman, Creator of The Sleep Sense Program

    Dana launched her successful private practice in 2003, and since then has helped over 30,000 of parents solve their children’s sleep problems. She is the creator of “The Sleep Sense Program,” a best-selling do-it-yourself guide for sleep deprived parents. Dana has made numerous television appearances, has been featured in national and local newspapers, spoken at multiple parenting trade shows and baby conventions. She was also invited to lecture on solving infant and toddler sleep problems to Family Physicians, through the University of British Columbia. In addition, to a BA in Psychology, Dana also holds a degree in Elementary Education from King’s University (1999), and is a professional member of the National Sleep Foundation.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

    Photo Credit: matthewreid via Compfight cc

  • Why Sleep is Important for Babies and Kids

    Why Sleep is Important for Babies and KidsEveryone knows sleep is important. After a long day, your body craves sleep whether you mentally want to or not. In fact, go long enough without it and our bodies would fall asleep on their own.

    For children, though, sleep plays an interesting role in their development. It doesn’t just rejuvenate them for another day like you or I. Sleep plays a key role in their growth.

    In our bodies, the pituitary gland secrets the Human Growth Hormone, a substance that, quite literally, helps the body grow. Its production is influenced by many factors, such as stress, nutrition and exercise. In growing bodies, however, HGH is affected by sleep.

    HGH is most intensely released shortly after children fall into their deep sleep. That means they do the most growing while they are asleep.

    That means without proper sleep, a child’s growth can actually be stunted. Improper sleep can consist of keeping a child awake when their bodies want to sleep, or a sleep obstruction problem like sleep apnea.

    If a child severely lacks HGH, they can even suffer from lung and heart problems, as these organs may not grow fast enough to keep up with their bodies. It’s unlikely that a lack of sleep could cause this much damage, but little sleep combined with an underlying condition could create a serious problem.

    Other hormones can be affected by a lack of sleep as well. Hormones that regulate appetite can be affected, causing your child to overeat or prefer high-calorie foods. Lack of sleep can affect the way a child’s body handles the food it receives by triggering insulin resistance (which is a threat for diabetes).

    You can tell your child needs more sleep by evaluating their mood and behavior. If they’re frequently cranky, irritable and lethargic, they might need a few more hours at night or an extra nap during the day. Lack of sleep over a long term can affect your child’s grades in school, their performance in extra-curricular activities, and even make permanent changes to their disposition and personality.

    Ensure your child is getting enough sleep by setting a bedtime and nap routine appropriate for their age and adjusting it as you see fit. A consistent routine will help their bodies adjust so they know when sleep is coming. Make sure your child’s sleeping space is conducive to sleep without any distractions.

    Most importantly, keep an eye out for signs of sleep deprivation. It does more damage than you think.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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