We all need good sleep and children need even more than adults. Sleep is the best restorative activity that we can participate in, allowing the brain to rest and the body to recuperate.
All of the developmental opportunities that the brain has during the day are solidified during sleep. Memory consolidation occurs during sleep - this is the time when children really learn their ABC's and shapes and numbers.
Babies and toddlers need regular sleep routines including night time and nap time schedules that help them maintain normal sleep patterns. Not sleeping enough can cause damage in the brain and decrease school functioning and is associated with higher incidences of behavioral problems.
Teaching good sleep habits is one of the best gifts we can give our children (and ourselves). It is important that children learn to put themselves to sleep so that they are not dependent on us to soothe them to sleep. A child that knows how to put himself to sleep may wake up during a nap or in the middle of the night and can just roll over and go back to sleep. Good night sleep tight.
- Dana Wilson