Healthy sleep – healthy body

Undervalued sleep

Many adults undervalue the enormous role that healthy and deep sleep plays on our health. At first glance it seems that there are no repercussions if one or two nights sleep are interrupted. You can catch up on your sleep later on, or not at all, and besides, almost nobody today gets enough sleep. They forget that they are consciously resigning from one of the best cosmetic treatments available and one of the most effective weapons against illness and general well-being. However, it should be remembered that the right amount and quality of sleep is fundamental in our body’s fight to maintain good health. Good sleeping habits passed on to your children will pay dividends now and in the future.

Get enough sleep

One of the most important elements of sleep is its length. Of course, it will look different in adults and in children of different ages. New born babies and infants sleep more than 14 hours a day, with a large portion of this during the day. Children up to 4 years of age usually need an extra nap during the day, and teenagers should sleep about the same as adults, i.e. about 8 hours. However, this is the statistical average and in each case individual differences will be key. The most important thing to remember is not to skip on sleep and to ensure that it is treated with the same importance as other activities and to try to instil in children the fact that they should sleep as much as they need. In practice this means getting into the habit of going to bed early, but every mother knows how that there are many interesting distractions going on in the evening, such as watching TV, partying or reading the latest novels.

Build and nurture good habits

In addition to the length of sleep it is also important to ensure that sleep is of high quality and to nurture good habits to support this. With small children rituals, such as taking an evening bath at the same time or a similar sequence of events (for example, bath, dinner, toothbrush, reading a book, and sleep), are helpful. In the case of slightly older children, it is important to carefully limit the latest technological advances, such as television, computer or tablet, because the blue light emitted by them disrupts the body’s internal clock and is an additional stimulant.

Your surroundings can help you

It is worth remembering that our environment can also help support healthy sleep.  You should properly ventilate your bedroom before going to bed. In winter it is best to do this quickly, with windows opened as wide as possible, before a child goes to sleep in its bedroom. Ensuring the right temperature, so that it is neither too cold nor too hot, is also an important part of healthy sleep. A quiet environment and a lowering of lighting levels is also helpful, because these create the optimal conditions for sleep. Things might look slightly differently if your child is afraid of the dark. A night light emitting a low level glow can help alleviate this problem.

Sleep strengthens your body’s immune system

Deep and uninterrupted sleep promotes regeneration and rebuilding of our bodies. The number of leukocytes in the blood increases making the immune system much more effective in the fight against infections. This is also confirmed by the experience of people who, for whatever reason, cannot get a proper amount of sleep over a period of time. It is then that it is easier to notice a worsening in our health and infections can appear out of nowhere.

Remember to nap

While for many of us an afternoon nap is just a childhood memory, it is worth remembering that even a 15 minute nap during the day has a beneficial effect on our body. It’s good to let yourself take a nap like this and even encourage older children of school age to take naps because it’s another healthy habit that gives us an advantage in our fight against infections.