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10 Consequences of a Lack of Sleep in Children

Last week, we discussed mindfulness as a way to achieve good sleep hygiene. What we didn’t discuss in detail is why good sleep hygiene is so important for both children and adults. There are consequences to a lack of sleep, especially over a long period of time. Everybody has a sleepless night once in a while, but when that stretches out to a sleepless week or a sleepless month, some serious effects begin to rear their ugly heads.

Continue reading to see how constant sleeplessness can affect your child to see why it’s so important to build a mindful sleep routine for them. A mindful sleep routine for your child should include reading together, especially Kelly Caleb’s books on mindfulness for children.

10 Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Child’s Body and Mind

  1. Trouble with thinking and concentration – Your child’s creativity, concentration, and problem-solving skills suffer when they don’t get enough rest. This can happen even after one night’s sleep and only gets worse over time.

  2. Memory issues – Your child’s brain forms connections during sleep that help them process and remember new information. Sleep deprivation can negatively impact short- and long-term memory.

  3. Mood changes – Childhood has its share of mood changes, but lack of sleep can multiply that and make your child more moody, emotional, and quick-tempered than ever. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety or depression.

  4. Accidents – Fortunately, our children aren’t old enough yet to suffer car accidents. But with all of their physical exertion, they are likely to have more accidents than other children who are getting enough sleep at night.

  5. Risk for diabetes – Sleep deprivation affects the body’s release of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar. People who don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

  6. Weight gain – With a lack of sleep, the chemicals that signal your child’s brain that they have eaten enough are off balance. As a result, they’re more likely to eat more because they continually believe they are hungry.

  7. Poor balance – This goes with the increased risk of accidents above. Sleep deprivation can affect your child’s balance and coordination, making them more prone to falls and other physical accidents.

  8. Inability to complete daily tasks – With the amount of homework kids have these days, this can get pretty serious, pretty fast. It also leads to a vicious circle. They are too tired to complete a mindful bedtime routine, so they don’t sleep well. They don’t sleep well, so they’re too tired to complete a mindful bedtime routine. And on and on.

  9. Headaches – Children can experience moderate to severe headaches as a result of a lack of sleep. These can interfere with their ability to enjoy the things they normally enjoy about their day.

  10. Hallucinations/ psychosis – These symptoms may be present in clinically sleep deprived children (or adults), so it’s rare that you would need to worry about them. But the fact is, if your child truly lacks sleep over a long period of time, these are potential consequences.

Mindful Bedtime Routines to Avoid Sleep Deprivation

Fortunately, we discussed in last week’s post how mindful bedtime routines can keep your children from suffering these consequences. Join Now Cow in Kelly Caleb’s beloved mindfulness books and see if you can discover other mindful activities for your child’s bedtime routines.

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