It has been proven by many studies that sleep has a great effect on physical development as well as on intelligence. Stating that the hormone melatonin, which is secreted during sleep, especially in the dark, strengthens the immune system, experts state that this hormone also ensures the secretion of growth hormone. Experts point out that the 0-3 age period is an important period in terms of mental development and healthy growth, and emphasize that in case of neglect, mental retardation and irreversible situations can be encountered in later ages.
Üsküdar University NPİSTANBUL Brain Hospital Specialist Clinical Psychologist Nuran Günana shared very important information about how to have a healthy sleep pattern in babies and children and gave advice to parents.
Sleep affects brain and physical development in children
Emphasizing that sleep is a basic physiological need for brain and body development, Specialist Clinical Psychologist Nuran Günana said, “Many studies have proven that sleep has a great effect on physical development as well as on intelligence. Growth hormone, which affects physical development in children, is secreted most during sleep. During sleep, especially in the dark, the hormone melatonin is secreted. This hormone, which has an important role in strengthening the immune system, also ensures the secretion of growth hormone. said.
Sleep quality is very important in the 0-3 age period.
Specialist Clinical Psychologist Nuran Günana said that babies' brains work and develop while they sleep, and continued as follows:
“When babies get a good night's sleep, they start the day more energetically. We can say that the 0-3 age period is an important period for mental development and healthy growth. Children grow and develop rapidly during this period. Therefore, most of the brain development is completed at this age. If there is a neglect in the child's quality sleep or healthy nutrition in the 0-3 age period, this may adversely affect the brain development and lead to developmental delays and irreversible situations in later ages.
Sleep times get shorter as they get older
Expressing that the sleep needs of children change according to their age, Günana said, “We can say that the sleep duration in newborn babies is approximately 12-16 hours and 3-4 times daytime naps per day. These times decrease with age. The baby's daytime sleep starts to shorten after the 4th month. In 12-24 month old babies, the sleep time is 11-14 hours and the daytime sleep is one. 3-5 hours of sleep is ideal for 10-13 years of age, and 6-12 hours of sleep for 9-12 years old. For those aged 13 and above, 8-10 hours of sleep are valid.” he said.
Activities should not be done so that the child gets tired and sleeps.
Drawing attention to the importance of a regular daily routine for children to acquire healthy sleep habits, Günana said, “The same sleep time and wake-up time, meal time and play time should be determined. This orderly life makes children feel safe and comfortable. Regular activities throughout the day help the child get quality sleep. However, these activities should not be done for the child to get tired and sleep. Exhausting activities, especially in the evening, stimulate the child more and cause him to be active rather than making the child sleepy.” used the phrases.
The child should sleep in his own room and bed
Specialist Clinical Psychologist Nuran Günana emphasized that it is important for the child to sleep in his own room and in his own bed and concluded his words as follows:
“Parents need to encourage the child to sleep in their own bed. It is important for the child to find himself in his room and bed when he wakes up. If the child still wants to sleep with his mother after the age of 2, then we can talk about the child's dependence on the mother. Resolving this situation will prevent the problems that the child may experience in the future. Since the screen time that the child is exposed to during the day will increase the problem of falling asleep, it will be an important step to determine the screen time. It is beneficial to create a home environment and bed that supports sleep. Environmental factors such as the room at the appropriate temperature, comfortable, quiet and dark play an important role. A room that is not dark enough negatively affects sleep and prevents the growth hormone from working. It is important that the environment where children sleep is as pitch dark as possible and that it is dim during the day. Putting one or two favorite toys in the child's bed instead of many toys will relieve separation anxiety and make it easier to fall asleep. Heavy food should not be eaten before going to sleep. If he is hungry, healthy snacks can be recommended.”