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Sleep Benefits – A Critical Moment for Child Growth

Difficulties to achieve deep sleep stage inhibit growth hormone release. Children and adolescents should sleep between 8 and 16 hours depending on their age.

Long days of work and in general, the hectic life of modern families, derives in sleepless nights or in complications to reach the stage of deep sleep. In the case of children, the fact of not getting enough sleep or not having a set time to go to bed, implies a poor quality of sleep, directly impacting their development if the problem is not corrected in time.

In childhood, growth is promoted by somatropin, better known as growth hormone. It is produced by the pituitary gland and is released mainly at night, during the deep sleep stage of children; If they have difficulty sleeping or the quality of their rest is not appropriate, they will have complications to reach the optimal height for their age.

The physical development of children is a process involving various factors, both internal and external and of these, the Sleep is one of the most important factor.

If a child is unable to reach a restful sleep at night for a while longer, it can be suffering stunting, which means that to continue so hardly reach its size Family White on reaching adulthood , “said  the Dr. Zenia Santana, pediatric endocrinologist of the Family Medicine Unit 7, of the Mexican Institute of Social Security in Tijuana.

“The sleep consists of several stages, one of which is known as deep sleep, it determines the quality of sleep. Currently, there are a lot of situations that make it difficult for children to reach it, such as electronic devices and stress, “said Dr. Santana.

In mid-2017 the Ministry of Health (SSa) called on the Chamber of Deputies to carry out campaigns that promote the restriction of the use of electronic devices up to an hour before sleep, before the increase in consultations for sleep disturbances, like insomnia and the addictive behaviors that they usually generate.

For this situation, in the context of Children’s Day, Dr. Santana gives the following recommendations to parents to help their children to rest better at night:

  • Limit the use of electronic devices before sleep. 
  • Dine lightly and at least one hour before going to bed. 
  • Perform physical activities in the afternoon. 
  • Avoid physical activity two hours before bedtime. 
  • Establish a fixed sleep schedule. 
  • Know the white family size of children.

Establishing a sleep routine, reducing the use of electronic devices at night and knowing the White Family Size will help children develop properly, in addition to preventing sleep disorders and facilitating the detection of health problems, such as short stature.

Ideal hours for sleep time by Age:

  • 0-3 months Between 14 and 17 hours 
  • 4-11 months Between 12 and 15 hours 
  • 1-2 years Between 11 and 14 hours 
  • 3-5 years Between 10 and 13 hours 
  • 6-13 years Between 9 and 11 hours 
  • 14-17 years Between 8 and 10 hours

This Table of sleep time recommendations by age, according to the National Sleep Association in the United States.

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