NSP Harps on Healthy Sleep Culture for Children’s Mental Growth

healthcare - September 13, 2021

The Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) has emphasised on the need for a healthy sleep culture for children’s physical and mental growth and development.

According to the NSP, quality sleep helps repair and restore body cells, tissues, and organs. In addition, it improves cognitive skills development, memory, alertness and general performance necessary for academic excellence.

The Coordinator, NSP Paediatric Specialist Group, Dr Ituen Oluwakemi, in a statement said children between the ages of 4-12 months must observe 12-16 hours of sleep; while 1-2years, 11-14 hours; 3-5 years, 10-13 hours; 6-12 years, 9-12 hours; and those between 13-18 years, 8-10 hours.

According to the doctor, quality sleep allows the pituitary gland in the brain to produce different specialised hormones, including the growth hormone, which influences a child’s height.

This growth hormone is responsible for increasing the size and repairing tissues, muscles, and bones. This process is significant during puberty because it facilitates rapid growth spurts, as there have been cases of growth retardation in children with poor quality sleep over a long period.

In addition, Oluwakemi advised parents to provide the right sleep solution to ensure quality sleep, adding that quality sleep is not just a function of duration, but also the sleep needs to be uninterrupted. “When asleep at night, the child should wake up not more than once to have a night of quality sleep, as the reverse has negative consequences like obesity, behavioral disorders, attention deficit, and restlessness, among many others.

It is worthy of note that quality sleep enhances a child’s brain capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend and solve complex problems, learn quickly and remember past experiences, as well as in the area of language development. The milestone a child misses during childhood may affect their adolescent and adult life, hence the need for the right sleep mattress from infanthood.

The NSP recommends Mouka’s mattresses, which are specially designed for children. The Dreamtime mattress is water-resistant yet breathable and made with the proper foam density for younger children, on the other hand the comfy mattress is covered with a polycotton fabric and is made with a low density foam to keep the older children comfortable through the night “she affirmed.

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