Sleep Deprivation: How Sleep Deprivation Is Harming Your Child’s Potential
Integrated Learning Strategies is excited to feature how to help kids with sleep deprivation in this guest post. While many of the recommendations below are great for select children and parents, some accommodations or exceptions may be made for children with learning challenges and learning disabilities.
Do you use a tablet or computer to help keep your children entertained in the evenings? Perhaps you let your teenager head to bed with a mobile phone and assume because the light is out and it is quiet, they are asleep? Modern technology is a fantastic part of our lives and can help to educate and stimulate our kids. However it is also thought to be the cause of a tenfold increase in children visiting the doctors with sleep related issues and schools are noticing a massive link between mobile phone usage and lack of attention or lethargy in school time.
There is nothing wrong with needing a distraction for the children. Even toddlers can enjoy using mummy’s iPad to play some brilliantly educational games, which will keep them busy so you can catch up on the cleaning, or will help them to form patterns or words. Learning to use a computer is about as important to their futures as learning to read and write. In fact some schools say that they are less concerned about the neatness of children’s handwriting because most of them will leave school and never pick up a pen again.
Mobile technology is also an important way of keeping our children safe and staying in contact. When they reach secondary school and start to have a little more freedom, it is a great reassurance to both adults and the kids, that there is always a way of getting in touch. However there is a growing issue with online bullying through social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook and this is one of the issues keeping our children up at night and increasing anxiety, resulting in sleep loss.
Sleep deprivation has a direct impact on the ability to learn. Concentration is deeply affected and as a result children will find it harder to take in information, process it and to problem solve. Infact recent research has said that cognitive abilities have been set back by years in children who lose just one hour of sleep a night. That is pretty scary reading.
The study highlighted how much sleep affects the academic performance and emotional stability. It also raised a link between the rise of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and the obesity epidemic. There is also a theory that sleep problems through the formative years causes permanent changes to the brain structure. Moodiness, depression and binge eating are all signs of chronic sleep deprivation, so next time your teenager throws a strop and you put it down to their age, maybe consider the alternative.
So how can we help our kids get more sleep. Firstly we can encourage them to put down the tech. Putting down the gadgets an hour before bedtime, this includes TV, is the first step. Mobile tech over stimulates the mind and the blue light omitted from most devices stops our body from producing melatonin, a hormone which tells the brain it is time to sleep. So remove the gadgets and set up a strong bed routine, which includes a bath or a shower.
Take the pressure off them when it comes to homework. Some children lose sleep when over thinking about exams or coursework. You can help by spending a little time with your children using sites like MathFact which will help improve their numeracy ability and could be valuable in solving issues that are keeping them awake at night. Talk to your children about what pressures they feel at school and if they are having real concerns then arrange a meeting with their teacher or headteacher. Sometimes tutors don’t realise how much they are pushing their class and won’t know that some pupils are suffering or concerned.
Bullying is another area of concern. Most children won’t voluntarily offer up this information as they are scared what will happen if they expose the bullies. You need to keep your eyes open for changes in your children’s behaviour. If they are online a lot then consider looking at an app to help monitor and time their usage of apps like instagram. You can run this from your own phone and some programs give you the ability to block access to sites after a certain amount of time. If you suspect your child is being bullied then you need to do something about it. The first step is to talk to your son or daughter and see if you can help them resolve the situation without going to a teacher or the other parents. However if this is more than a storm in a teacup, you will need to take matters into your own hands.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs