Lack of sleep for kids linked to behavioral problems
Playtime is an essential part of every child's day. It's a time for them to socialize with their friends and get some much-needed exercise.

But at Little Newtons in Plymouth, everything is done on routine.

"We do have nap times all the way through, up to our kindergarteners," said Alise McGregor, owner of Little Newtons Early Childhood Education Center.

When the clock hits a certain point, the kids at Little Newtons are put down for a nap.

"It’s very important for children’s minds and the way that they develop that they’re getting enough sleep at night," McGregor said.

McGregor says the amount of naps per day depends on the age of the child. The infants receive the most amount of sleep. Assuming, of course, that they cooperate.

But by and large, McGregor says all the kids, regardless of age, adjust well to sleeping at Little Newtons. 

"Because they see everyone else doing it," McGregor said. "We do yoga before nap time. And that kind of relaxes them, it's very dark in there when they sleep."

Ensuring that the children get their sleep has always been important.

"They really are on edge if they haven’t received enough sleep," she said.

Yet a new study done by pediatricians in Boston of children between the ages of six months and seven years found that insufficient sleep can lead to problems.

"What they found out was the children that didn’t receive a full night’s sleep struggled by age seven, cognitively and behaviorally," McGregor said, referring to the study.

Parents can help ensure that their kids have good sleeping habits by keeping them on a routine. Experts also recommend that children should also avoid screen time and stimulating activities, such as exercise, for three hours before bedtime.

"Whether that it’s you bathe them every night, that you read them a story, whatever it is. Same time. Same thing," McGregor said. "Every single night will get them into their ritual."

Delane Cleveland

April 4, 2017


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