Tuesday December 18, 2018

Sleep Deprivation: Why are Children Affected by it?

According to a survey, 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation

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Sleep Deprivation
Sleep Deprivation is becoming common among children. Pixabay
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  • Sleep deprivation is becoming a common scenario nowadays
  • 25 to 30 percent children face sleep deprivation
  • Sleep deprivation leads to poor attention and fall in academic performance of children

June 29, 2017: Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sleep as the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. Proper sleep is an essential to maintain good health as it relaxes our body and freshens up the mind.

However, nowadays sleep deprivation (a sufficient lack of restorative sleep over a cumulative period so as to cause physical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routine performances of tasks.) is becoming a common scenario, especially among children. According to a survey of National Sleep Foundation, 25 to 30 percent of normally developing children and adolescents are not getting enough sleep consistently.

The lack of sleep is leading to irritation, crankiness, poor social interactions, poor attention, worse grades and school absences amongst children.

Why are children sleep deprived?

  • Some children stay awake till late at night by personal choice. They choose to do so in order to complete their work or to have fun at night merely. Late night use of social media by adolescents has become a common phenomenon these days.
  • Some diseases such as cold and tonsillitis can cause snoring, gagging and frequent waking, and have a direct effect on sleep by fragmenting it.
  • Children can also be affected by sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Parasomnias or Behavioral Insomnia (Inability to sleep enough).
  • Some medications used to treat disorders such as epilepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause sleep deprivation.

ALSO READ: Muslim Women in India Can Become Change Agents With Education

  • The improper sleeping environment may also contribute to sleep deprivation. If the room is too hot or too cold or there is continuous noise, children find it difficult to sleep.
  • Poor habits such as late night coffee stimulate the nervous system and make sleep less likely.
  • Stress is a major contributor to sleep deprivation. Lying in bed and worrying causes tension rather than relaxation.

Effects of Sleep deprivation in children

According to a research of National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation results in children in:

  • Poor concentration leading to a fall in academic performance.
  • Chronically sleep-deprived teenagers become more impulsive leading to risk-taking behaviors.
  • Sleeping problems increase the risk of disorders such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Children start getting negative feelings which may lead to depression.

By Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

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Sleep Deprivation: What You Can Do to Combat Those Sleepless Nights

It’s okay to want to help people, and dedicate your time for certain things, but you have to help yourself too.

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Sleep
Those that are familiar with stress, know that stress can have you up all night. Wikimedia Commons

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our daily routine. You need it to properly function at work, to operate your car safely, and to make coherent decisions. There are even signs alongside the road that state how drowsy driving is just as bad as drunk driving. So, not getting an ample amount of rest is detrimental to not only your life, but the safety of others as well.

Now, getting all the sleep we need to function well can be easier said than done sometimes. We can always say that we’re going to bed “early” tonight, but “early” somehow ends up being a little after midnight, and you have get back up at 5 o’clock in the morning to go to work.

This will then begin the seemingly never-ending cycle of being sluggish, and slightly unproductive, at work. That can then lead to yawning, laziness and grouchiness, and no one wants to be around Oscar the Grouch, especially when they’re having a good day.

sleeping, impairment, inflammation, SLeep
Your bedding set may not have started out like that, but over time quality can start to fade, so you want to invest in good quality bedding. Pixabay

If you are someone who struggles with getting a good night’s rest, but you really want to break that habit, then it will have to start with you. You will have to consciously make the effort to do better. To genuinely give yourself a shot at getting a good night’s rest, consider incorporating these habits into your daily routine.

Give Yourself a Bedtime

Bedtimes are not just for kids and senior citizens! They’re for anybody who needs sleep! Children typically are given bedtimes to get them into a proper sleeping routine that will have them refreshed and ready for school the next morning.

Why can’t you give yourself a bedtime that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for work the next morning? The same principle applies. You can say that you’re going to bed by 9 p.m. all you want, but if you’re not actively making that effort, then your words are meaningless.

Actively making the effort to get to bed at a decent hour may require you to make some changes to your daily routine. If your goal is to go to bed by 9 p.m., then you may have to make dinner earlier than you normally would. You may invest in paper plates to cut down on dish washing time, or shower as soon as you get home, instead of waiting until later in the evening.

Clock, time, Sleep
You don’t have to necessarily make those particular changes. Pixabay

All of those are just examples of small things you can do to help get yourself in the bed at your desired bedtime. You don’t have to necessarily make those particular changes, but those are ways to actively put forth the effort to reach your bedtime goal.

Exercise

You ever notice how kids go to sleep much faster after playing outside for a few hours? Well, it’s because they’ve been running around outside burning energy. That same logic applies to you when needing to get more rest. When you exercise, you’re burning off energy, which in turn, can lead you to a better quality of sleep.

Your exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous either. You just need to do enough exercise to get your heart rate up, but you also need to give it at least 30 minutes of consistent effort. Your initial intentions for exercising are to help you sleep better, but you also have the possibility of slimming down in the process, so overall, it’s a win-win for you!

Better Quality Bedding

The type of bedding you’re sleeping on can also play a huge factor in getting a good night’s rest. If you’re sleeping in bedding that slides off your mattress, or you easily get tangled up in, then it’s high time to get yourself some better quality bedding.

Mattress, Sleep
The shape of the human body is kind of an S-shape but the sleeping surfaces are generally flat. Pixabay

You want bedding that enhances your sleep, not detracts from it. You want pillows that are as plush as clouds and sheets that are soft to the touch. Anything that lacks those qualities might play a contributing role in your sleepless nights. Your bedding set may not have started out like that, but over time quality can start to fade, so you want to invest in good quality bedding that can withstand wear and tear..

Also Read: Mild Sleep Problems May up Blood Pressure in Women

Say, “No.”

Are you a people pleaser? Being someone who says yes, all the time, even when you should have said no, can bring about stress. Those that are familiar with stress, know that stress can have you up all night, worrying about things that are either left in your hands, or out of your control.
What “yes people” don’t realize is that their stress is self-inflicted, and totally preventable. For example, if your boss asks if you can work overtime and you know you can’t, but say yes anyway, then you’ve contributed to your own stress, and by extension, lack of sleep. It’s okay to want to help people, and dedicate your time for certain things, but you have to help yourself too. Saying no, to give yourself a shot at rest, is a good start in the right direction.