The Benefits of Sleep in Early Childhood

Ever felt moody, physically drained, or unable to concentrate the following day because of lack of sleep? Similarly, children who are sleep deprived experience similar symptoms, which often affects their ability to learn and retain new information. In general, adults only require about 7- 8 hours of sleep every night in order to feel well rested. Dissimilar to adults, children between the ages of 2-5 need at least a minimum of 10-14 hours of sleep per day. To a growing and developing child, not getting enough sleep can have a negative and detrimental effect on their behavior, temperament, alertness, attention span, physical endurance, and physical growth. A decrease in sleep can also increase obesity and the chances of them developing sickness or illnesses. Establishing set bedtimes with relaxing bed time routines helps your child get the rest he/she needs to thrive.

Napping at School:

At Pasadena Christian Preschool we understand the importance of sleep and are aware of the enriching effects it can have on the mental and physical development of our students.  Our teachers promote sleep during nap time by preparing the environment and setting the proper mood. Most classrooms have ‘twinkle’ lights within their classroom walls and turn them on when they turn off the regular classroom lights to avoid the classroom being too dark. In addition, our teachers also play soft music in the background to bring children into a calm and relaxed state of mind. Music playing in the background can be of soft ocean wave sounds or instrumental rhythms.We also encourage students to bring a favorite snuggly toy, a soft blanket and cot-sized pillow. Items such as these offer the comforts of home and help our little ones feel secure at school.

Our teachers know that when our students are well rested, they are more alert, less irritable, feel eager to learn, and perform to their fullest potential! So the next time you pass by our classrooms and see our sweet ones sleeping, remember that sleep is as fundamental to our children as good nutrition is for their overall health. As they sleep, our students are re-energizing and preparing their minds and bodies to continue exploring and learning about their world.

As we prepare for the new school year, be sure to switch from your ‘summer’ bed time routines to a a more established ‘school’ bed time routine before the first day of school so that your child is prepared, well-rested and ready for the fun in store!

Author: Marisol Rivera, CSULA Child Development Intern