Why enough sleep is so important for children

and the Pediatrician Hartmut Morgenroth describe the rather complicated nightly process as follows: When we fall asleep, we first fall into the light sleep, then in the quiet deep Sleep, that gets deeper and deeper. Breathing becomes calm, the heart beats evenly, the brain comes to rest and it is difficult for us to be awakened. Then the low of dream sleep replaced. Heartbeat and breathing become more violent in dream sleep, the eyes move quickly behind the closed lids, the body uses more oxygen, the brain becomes active. The child is dreaming.

In schoolchildren, a phase of light sleep is repeated every 65 minutes, followed by deep and dream sleep. Between the phases, the children wake up briefly, maybe turn around, rub their eyes, mumble something and then continue to sleep. These sleep phases are repeated in children at least six times a night.

Sleep is important because children grow in their sleep

If children have slept long enough, they are a little bit bigger in the morning. The growth hormone is produced in deep sleep. In adults, it stimulates the formation of new body cells. In children, every organ and every part of the body grows a tiny, fine-tuned part night after night.
It is therefore important that children get a lot of deep sleep. Because only the growth hormone shoots them in the length, and this is almost exclusively released during sleep. Conversely, this means that growth disorders soon appear in children who sleep too little in the long term.

they are best protected against infections. Even if children are completely healthy: the immune system works continuously and of course also has to regenerate itself. It does this at night, especially when children are in deep sleep. If it has too little time for it, it is weakened.
Everyone knows this condition before a cold: you get tired, weak and just want to go to bed very quickly to sleep endlessly. It is no coincidence that it then says: “Sleep well!” And it works because the immune system is in top form during deep sleep and combats intruders such as bacteria or viruses.

How long should children sleep?

Prof. Jürgen Zollney, the sleep researcher, answered all of these and a few other questions about sleep in children.

Seven questions about children and sleep

1. How much sleep do elementary school students need to be fit at school??Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zulley: The length of sleep in children is also quite individual and can vary depending on the type. In general, children between the ages of six and ten should sleep ten hours, although deviations of plus or minus two hours are still quite normal. The next day you can tell whether a child has slept enough. If it is agile, unfocused and moody, you can assume that it has not got enough sleep. 2. How many hours each tie lastsf- and dream sleep?
Children have much more learning sleep than adults. This is related to their brain maturation. Their sleep ratio is divided as follows: 60 percent deep sleep, 40 percent dream sleep, which corresponds to a ratio of six to four hours for a total of ten hours of sleep.
Incidentally, adults have 25 percent dream sleep.
4. When should children go to bed at the latest so that they can recover well??
What matters is how long you go to bed before the biological ghost hour. As with adults, this is usually at three in the morning for children and not between midnight and one o’clock, which is often referred to as a ghost hour.
The recovery functions work stubbornly until three o’clock. That means that the time before three o’clock is important for the work of the growth hormone, for the regeneration of the immune system and for the recovery. That is why primary school children go to bed between 8 and 9 p.m..



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Christina Cherry
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