Sleep quality is central to our physical and emotional well-being. Not getting enough sleep negatively influences physical health and performance, learning, development, and emotional regulation.
During quarantine, many kids – especially those with developmental concerns – have been thrown off their routines, and sleep has been impacted. If children are not sleeping well, they don’t think as well, learn as well, or behave as well.
Further, poor sleep quality makes children more vulnerable to anxiety and depression. And anxiety is a major cause of sleeplessness. So it can become a vicious cycle. The bottom line is that the body needs to rest, rejuvenate and restore its physical and chemical properties in order to function well.
Prioritizing sleep quality is essential to health. It’s just as important as diet and exercise.
Give your family the opportunity to sleep by providing an environment and a bedtime routine that is sleep-promoting.
- Keep the bedroom: Cool, dark, quiet, comfortable and safe.
- Make it a no-screen zone – remove phones and tablets at bedtime and don’t put a TV in a child’s bedroom – it’s in opposition to good quality sleep.
- Create an environment that is as dust- and clutter-free as possible and free of pet dander, smoke and any irritant that causes congestion and/or triggers wheezing or sneezing.
- Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it.
If you need help …
The Sleep Clinic at Nemours can work with you to help improve your child’s health and sleep. There are often behavioral, medical and environmental factors in play with poor sleep quality. Nemours has certified sleep physicians and nurse practitioners in the pulmonary medicine division as well as consulting psychologists to address each child’s unique needs.
We know families are especially stressed during these unusual times. We’re here to help. More information about Sleep Clinic can be found here.