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Importance of Sleep for You & Your Baby’s Development

Many parents take several steps such as eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and getting regular doctor checkups to ensure good health for themselves and their children. However, the one area that is commonly overlooked is sleep. Without proper sleep, all the steps you take for keeping your and your children’s health in the best shape will not yield proper results. 

Therefore, it goes without saying that getting a good night’s sleep should be one of the topmost priorities for maintaining good health for yourself and your children. Here are some of the most important reasons why proper sleep is important for children as well as parents: 

Reasons your kids need proper sleep

One of the questions that commonly gets asked regarding sleep for children is why is sleep important for babies’ development. The top reasons include:

1) Proper sleep aids better infant nutrition

Proper nutrition is the biggest priority for any parent when it comes to ensuring good health of their infant baby. Many parents may not be aware but sleep and nutrition are strongly linked to each other, especially in infants. Proper nutrition improves sleep and proper sleep improves better nutrition absorption in infants’ bodies. Therefore, it is important to include proper and safe sleep as a part of infant nutrition to keep his/her overall health in the best shape. 

2) Proper sleep supports growth and development in babies and children

As discussed in the first point, proper sleep aids better nutrition absorption in babies. Therefore, the importance of sleep for babies and children is mainly tied to better cognitive and physical growth and development. Babies and children who get proper 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night have better physical growth. The proper development of their cognitive skills also helps them learn faster and be alert during the day. 

baby sleeping

3) Proper sleep aids better development of the immunity system 

Better development of the immunity system is another main importance of sleep for your baby. As you would know, better immunity development puts your baby at a low risk of infections and various types of health conditions and diseases such as colds, fever, vomiting, indigestion, jaundice, hepatitis, and respiratory distress. And when the risk of different types of health conditions and diseases is at bay, your baby benefits from proper physical growth and development. 

4) Proper sleep helps maintain a healthy body weight

An unhealthy body weight is not just a problem in adults but in babies too. Babies who are overweight or obese stand at an increased risk of diabetes, liver disease, eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, respiratory problems such as asthma, high blood pressure, and bone and joint problems. As discussed in the first point, sleep aids better nutrition absorption which, in turn, helps maintain healthy body weight. In essence, lowered risk of overweight or obesity is one of the important reasons why sleep is a necessary part of infants’ nutrition-associated bodyweight management. 

5) Proper sleep helps lower injury risk

The importance of sleep for babies lies in their safety as well. Infants, babies, and toddlers tend to be more clumsy during the day when they don’t get proper sleep during the night. And when they are clumsy, they are at the risk of accidents which, in turn, can lead to minor or serious injuries. One of the best ways how new parents can ensure that their newborn’s sleep routine is proper is to ensure that the sleeping room is soothing. Steps such as making sure the temperature is controlled at the right level, eliminating background noise, and ensuring that the bed and pillow are cozy and comfortable help in creating the right sleeping environment.

Importance of sleep for you as a new parent

Proper sleep is just as important in parents, especially new parents, as in children. Some of the biggest reason that highlight the importance of sleep for parents include: 

1) Proper sleep improves alertness during the day

Interrupted sleep nights are something each and every new parent face during the first year of taking care of their newborn. Lack of proper sleep can make them lazy, stressed, and lower their alertness during the day. For new parents, it is important to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep to overcome stress in life after childbirth. Getting proper sleep also helps new parents become alert during the day which is crucial to ensuring proper care and safety of the baby. 

2) Proper sleep helps improve productivity

Good productivity is another important reason why sleep is important as a new parent for you. Many health experts say that getting insufficient sleep during the night can cause a temporary reduction of cognitive function such as attentiveness, reasoning power, and decision-making skill. As a new parent, if you don’t get proper sleep, the decline in cognitive function can take a toll on your work productivity. 

3) Proper sleep can help lower the risk of postpartum depression

The importance of sleep for new moms also lies in keeping the risk of postpartum depression at bay. Many new moms experience different forms of postpartum depression such as anxiety, mood swings, reduced appetite, irritability, and lowered concentration. In many new moms, poor sleep can act as a trigger to different postpartum depression symptoms. Therefore, one of the best ways for new moms on how to overcome stress in life after childbirth is getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day.

4) Proper sleep helps avoid overheating

Improper sleep leads to stress and tension which, in turn, causes many new parents to overeat. And overeating, in turn, leads to weight gain, and being overweight or obese. Getting proper sleep every night works wonders in fighting stress and depression which, in turn, help you maintain good overall health by following a balanced and healthy diet. 

5) Proper sleep helps maintain a good immune health

Just like in children, the importance of sleep for parents also lies in maintaining good immune health. With a healthy immunity system, you can significantly lower the risk of infections, allergies, and health conditions such as common cold, fever, skin allergies, and seasonal flu.