Children have always gone to bed earlier than adults – after dinner, they play a bit and then they are off to brushing teeth and bed. Everyone knows that children shouldn’t stay up late, and ever scientific discoveries seem to back up the claim. During our childhood, our body and brain tends to develop quicker. At this stage, the brain is like a sponge, absorbing all knowledge quickly, which is why children can learn things with tremendous speed. But, what does this have to do with children not being allowed to stay up late? Well, everything.
During the night, our growth hormone’s function is accelerated, which makes children grow. However, this hormone is released only when children sleep, meaning that the longer they stay awake, the less growth hormone is produced. Besides the decreased growth, staying up late will hamper a child’s mental development as well, affecting its ability to learn. Overnight, the brain makes new neurological connections that promote better growth. According to recent studies, children who stay up late are more anxious and irritated, perform worse in school and are more prone to psychological disorders. As you can see, children should really not stay up late.
However, nowadays, putting a child in bed in the proper time isn’t easy. There’s so much entertainment around them that they don’t feel the need to sleep. Smartphones, tablets, TVs and computers are being used by children constantly, and the effect has been devastating. Not going to bed on time can harm a child’s development both physically and mentally, and the blue light emitted from electronic devices can also affect their eyes. The same light tells the brain that it’s not time to sleep, which is why these devices should never be allowed for children. This is why it’s important to set up some boundaries for your child and determine the ideal time for going to bed.
How long should children sleep?
According to experts, children under 18 months should sleep 8-12 hours overnight, with a couple of naps during the day. After that age, children should still sleep for 8-12 hours, but they don’t need the naps throughout the day.