The Importance of Sleep in Child Development
Why is my child not growing? By: KoalaKIDZzz®
There is some variance in the exact timing of children’s growth patterns, but there is some level of predictability: your child should grow. But sometimes, because of different factors, your child won’t grow like they’re supposed to. That leads parents like you to wonder, “why is my child not growing?” In this post, we will explain how inadequate sleep can result in your child not growing like they should.
The National Sleep foundation recommends that children ages 6 to 13 sleep somewhere between 9 and 11 hours a night. However, not everyone chooses to follow this recommendation. When your child doesn’t get the sleep they need, negative side effects—such as inhibited growth—can affect your child.
What Affects my Child’s Ability to Sleep?
There are a lot of factors that can affect your child’s ability sleep. As this article from the Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy says, any of these factors can hinder your child’s ability sleep well.
- Excessive exposure to technology
- Consumption of caffeine and other similar substances
- Eating late-evening meals
- The physical environment (including factors like air quality and noises)
Of course, in addition to these environmental factors, there are also medical conditions that can inhibit your child’s ability to sleep well at night. Conditions such as sleep related breathing disorder (SRDB)—a condition that affects your child’s ability to breathe while they sleep—can arise and prevent your child from getting the sleep they need. Our team at KoalaKIDZzz® is more than qualified to help your child overcome any of these conditions that may get in the way of your child’s ability to grow.
What happens when my child isn’t sleeping enough?
Inadequate sleep does more than just make your child grumpy. It has the potential to wreak all sorts of negative effects on your child. Those repercussions can be physical, mental, and emotional. Here are a few of the common warning signs that may indicate your child isn’t sleeping enough that we see here at Koala Sleep Centers.
- Too tired to participate. If you notice that your child is feeling too tired to participate in their normal activities, pay close attention. Whether it be playing on their sports team or performing their regular chores at home, you should take action if your child doesn’t have the energy or desire to engage in their normal activities. This is a warning sign that something isn’t right, and it is quite likely that it is your child’s lack of sleep.
- Feeling left out. If you notice that your child is feeling left out or doesn’t have a desire to engage with their normal friends, remember that it may be a result of inadequate sleep. While this can happen as a result of external factors, sleep deprivation can also play a major role.
- Exhaustion. If your child’s sleep schedule has been regular and sufficient, yet they constantly feeling exhausted or worn out, then you should assume something else is affecting their ability to get the sleep that they need.
Why is my child not growing?
Sufficient nightly sleep is one of the most important pieces of your child developing like they should. And that includes their physical growth.
As this article from PsychCentral points out, “the highest levels of growth hormones are released into the bloodstream during sleep.” This hormone, which is officially known as somatotropin, is an essential factor in human development.
So, let’s say that your child is struggling to get to sleep or failing to fall into a deep sleep at night. When this happens, the growth hormone will not be able to effectively do its job, resulting in your child not growing like they should.
Here are a few of the negative things that indicate that your child is not getting adequate sleep and needs an evaluation from Koala Sleep Centers.
- Shorter and Smaller. Of course, genetics plays a huge role in determining your child’s size. But genetics is by no means the only factor. If genetics says that your child should be taller and bigger, yet they are on the shorter and smaller size, a factor other than genetics is affecting their growth. That difference is a warning sign that your child isn’t getting the sleep that they need to grow into who they should be.
- Slow Growth. Growth will be slow sometimes even if the child is getting the sleep they need. However, if your child’s growth is always slow, leaving them behind other children their age, insufficient sleep may be one of the reasons why.
- Restless sleeper. A child that sleeps restlessly probably isn’t getting the sleep that they need for the growth hormone to do its job well. If your child complains that they aren’t sleeping well or you see them consistently moving around in their sleep, they may need to seeon of our team members at KoalaKIDZzz®. Your child’s growth is important, and they need sufficient sleep to achieve that growth.
If you notice that your child is not growing like they should, contact one of our KoalaKIDZzz® Centers located throughout the country. Our team is more than qualified to help your child get the adequate, sound sleep that they need to grow and live like they should. Just like you, we want what’s best for your child.