What is normal sleep? Normal sleep comprises of cycles of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, alternating with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. NREM sleep consists of light sleep and deep sleep, whilst REM sleep is when dreaming occurs.
Why is sleep important? Children need plenty of sleep to restore, rest and repair the body. Sleep also aids cognitive functioning and learning. Growth hormone levels are also at their highest during sleep. Evidence suggests that sleep disruption or insufficient sleep has potentially harmful effects on a child’s learning, memory, attention, concentration, mood, health and overall quality of life. Sleep loss has been linked to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, depression, and poorer immunity. Daytime sleepiness results in poor school performance and an increased incidence of learning disorders. There may also be an adverse impact on parental and family functioning. A recent study in Singapore showed that Singaporean preschoolers sleep significantly less than recommended and have poor sleep habits.
How much sleep is needed over a 24-hour period?Newborn
Tips to getting a good night’s sleepBedtime problems and frequent night wakings are common in young children. Helping your child develop good sleep habits can be a challenge, and it is normal to get upset when a child keeps you awake at night. However, it is important to persist in your efforts as it is important for the overall well-being of your child.Infants (< 1 year old)
What do I do if my child cries for me at bedtime or in the night?
When to seek help? Please consult your doctor if your child has
Further reading on good sleep habits
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