Children need enough sleep at night so that they are refreshed and alert during the day. Should one be deprived of sleep, it appears that one unconsciously turns to eating sweet things to acquire a much-needed energy boost. The high GI sweet/cake/biscuit has an immediate effect – however this effect does not last and quickly plunges the blood-sugar level even lower. As no two people are alike, the amount of sleep a person needs differs. However, on average, children of 5 years need 11 hours, 10 years need 10 hours, the average teenager needs 9.5 hours and 16 year olds need 8.5 hours. Most adults need 7 -8 hours. Signs of sleep deprivation are difficulty in waking in the mornings, irritability, sleepiness during the day, difficulty in concentrating or remembering facts, poor overall performance and depression.
From personal experience I have discovered that if I want a good night’s sleep I cannot have caffeine (tea or coffee) or eat anything with sugar after 2 p.m. Maybe parents who have children who battle to fall sleep can try cutting out sugary drinks and replacing them with a warm milky drink?
Dr. Grossi’s Tip: If possible don’t use the bedroom to punish your child. So many parents say ,“Go to your bedroom” as a punishment. A bedroom should be a happy, pleasant place for the child to be in.