Sleep! Most adults can’t get enough of it! Many children also need more of it!
We are all so busy that sleep is often the first thing to go when we can’t fit it all in. That is a big mistake! Sleep affects so many aspects of our life that if we aren’t getting enough it will show up in often unexpected ways.
5 somewhat surprising ways a lack of sleep will present itself
- Memory: It seems obvious that when we are sleep-deprived we are less focused and have a hard time paying attention. What may not be as clear is that inadequate rest also makes it difficult to pull up previously learned information. So although you may have been driving for years, exhaustion makes it difficult to access that knowledge and can result in bad decisions on the road.
- Hyperactivity: Surprised? This one is actually specific to kids. A 2009 study showed that children who don’t get enough shuteye are more likely to be hyperactive and impulsive. If you want your kids to be successful in their day to day lives – from school, to sports, to friendships – make sure they are getting plenty of sleep every night.
- Hunger: Sleep and metabolism are connected. Studies have shown that when we don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin (a hormone that increases appetite) levels increase. When we feel hungry we often eat more, potentially leading to weight gain.
- Clumsiness: So we all have our moments of being a klutz. If it’s happening more than occasionally it could very well be a sign of sleep deprivation.
- ADHD: No I’m not saying that lack of zzz’s causes ADHD! What I am saying is that many of the signs of sleep deprivation in children mimic those of ADHD: lack of focus, memory problems, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, lack of social skills, procrastination, and depression. This list could apply to a child with ADHD or a chronically sleep-deprived child. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD it may be worth considering the impact their nightime routine has.