According to Matthew Walker, a Cognitive Neuroscientist at UC Berkeley, quality sleep is the most important factor for every aspect of health. Getting under 6 hours of sleep a night significanlty increases our chances for diseases such as Alzheimers, cardiovascular issues, obesity and altered expression how DNA genes are read. Yeah, it's crucial.
Sleep is gone forever the moment we miss out on it.
We can never "catch up" on sleep. Our brain, unfortunately, does not work like a bank where you can make deposits and withdrawals from accumulated Zzz's.
The first moments of life are an explosion of cells into brain and spinal chord development. By the time your child is 6 years old, he will have 95% weight of is adult brain. Trillions of neuron connections have been made up to this point. There's no question that our children have adequate sleep for future health. In order to appreciate the importance of sleep a bit more, here are some tips get the best rest we all can.
-Its been shown in the research, that when learning a new skill, the brain actually makes the connections stronger during sleep.
-Sleeping in cooler environment will help your child get deeper sleep. Our body temperature naturally lowers steadily through the night.
-Eating a heavy dose of carbs close to bed time will cause Insulin to spike due to elevated blood sugars. Your child may toss and turn more if their blood sugar takes to big of a dip.
-Turning off half the lights in the house helps the body produce Melatonin, a hormone that tells your body when to sleep. Light bulbs LED screens all trick our brains into thinking its day time.
-Having a bedtime routine is huge advantage to help kids recognize that its time for bed. These simple cues help the brain go into automatic thinking mode and reduces anxiety.
-Plumbing system: Our brain has a plumbing system that cleans out protein plaque and damaged cells through out the night. In order to remove these toxins, a solid nights sleep is needed every night to flush them out.
***For the adults: If you've ever had a difficult decision to make or a lot on your mind, you may have heard the term: "Just sleep on it....". There may be some truth to that. Research has shown that people perform much better after a nap or long nights rest when facing difficult tasks the next day.
Hours of Sleep Needed by Age
Toddlers 1-2 years 11 to 14 hours
Preschoolers 3-5 years 10 to 13 hours
School-aged Children 6-13 years 9 to 11 hours
Teenagers 14-17 years 8 to 10 hours