In the previous article “Attention to sleep disorders less than illness”, we asked Dr. Shintaro Chiba, director of the Ota Sleep Science Center at Ota General Hospital Memorial Research Institute and a board member of the Japan Society of Sleep Science, about the circadian rhythm disorder and the background to the increasing number of children in the reserve.
Beginning with research on children’s apnea in otolaryngology, Dr. Chiba, who unravels the quality of sleep from the mechanism of sleep, taught us the points necessary for children’s “good sleep”.
The role of parents in controlling their children’s sleep
“Children have the ability to grow, but if they have sleep problems, they don’t have enough ability to grow.
However, by devising the time, quality, and rhythm of sleep, you can efficiently and steadily grow your child’s growth.
In fact, many professional athletes and scientists understand its importance and see sleep as very important.
Adults can change their behaviors and habits if they understand the importance of sleep, but it is difficult for children to control them.
First of all, it is important for parents closest to children to recognize the importance of sleep and change their behavior.”
Three elements needed for a child’s good sleep
So how exactly should we lead our children to good sleep?
“Good sleep” is supported by three things: “light” that resets the body clock, “temperature” that leads the body to natural sleep, and “sound” that is essential for high-quality sleep.
Changing the way light is taken in in the morning and at night
“First of all, light. In order to reset the body clock, which gradually recedes when left alone, it is most effective to bathe in the sun in the morning.
Sunlight is essential to awaken the human brain. The illuminance is more than 30,000 lux in the daytime and more than 10,000 lux outdoors even on cloudy days.”
Sunlight is essential for waking up in the morning, but before going to bed, it is desirable to avoid light stimulation as much as possible. In 30 minutes to 1 hour before going to bed, please refrain from using a TV, smartphone, or game console to avoid blue light.
In addition, it is recommended to encourage the preparation of the sleep of the brain by using the illumination of the warm color system which does not feel the brightness so much at night.
“When you go to bed, make the room dark. If your child is afraid, turn off the lights after going to bed.
If you’re using blackout curtains, opening the curtains and taking in the light in the morning will make it easier for you to wake up.”
“Temperature control” leads to high-quality sleep
“The other is body temperature.
The lowest body temperature of the day is during sleep, from midnight to midnight. After getting up, the body temperature rises little by little, and the body temperature rises from 16:00 to 18:00.
While making good use of the daily rhythm of body temperature change, the “brain temperature” is quickly lowered. This is very important for getting quality sleep.
The temperature of the brain does not go down if the surface of the body is cooled.”
Before going to bed, in the way that the deep body temperature is lowered quickly, exercise during the day and how to take a bath become the point.
“During the day, the metabolism increases and the deep body temperature is high, but the body temperature slowly decreases toward the night, so that sleeping well and sleeping after going to sleep deepens.
As for how to take a bath, if the hot water is too hot, the brain will wake up, so it is recommended to relax in a lukewarm bath of about 38 °C and enter for about 20 minutes, about an hour before bedtime.
After bathing, your body temperature will fall after about 60-90 minutes, and you will be able to sleep well.”
In addition, a joint study between bedding manufacturers and Stanford University has shown that a breathable mattress can smoothly promote a decline in body temperature.
It is also important to prepare a sleeping environment, such as choosing pajamas, futons, and sheets that directly touch the skin.
“Sound” before going to sleep related to deep sleep
“The last thing you need for a good night’s sleep is sound.
Be careful not only because the noise interferes with your sleep, but also because the quality of your sleep will be reduced if you make noise with the sound of the TV, the music, or the way you talk.”
A quiet environment is necessary to ensure a comfortable and deep sleep.
Start with “early wake up” instead of “go to bed early”
Light, temperature, time… Other than the three factors that lead to a good night’s sleep, it is also important to adjust your life rhythm and ensure good sleep time.
But what if you want to change the rhythm of your sleep, but your child doesn’t sleep easily?
“Instead of thinking about how to adjust your rhythm of life, it’s important to start early to get up early, not to go to bed early. That way, you will inevitably be sleepy at night.
It is noted that even if you try it for only one day, it will not be very effective. Since the rhythms that humans have been created by customs, the only way is to change them little by little.
The key to this is the rhythm of life for parents. It may be a good thing to rethink the lifestyles of the whole family, or to create a life rhythm that can be a seism for children, either by parents alone.”
The power to sleep well is a child’s future asset.
Sleeping itself can be natural without anyone being taught, but in each quality of sleep, it is also important to face it while being conscious and devising.
“First of all, please observe if your child is sleeping well. And, it sees for the first time because it is possible to be able to get a good sleep. If you have any problems, visit a hospital if necessary.
There are individual differences in sleep, and there is no absolute answer that this is the correct answer.
That’s why I want you to take care of it, not to compare different periods of sleep with others, but to notice “the best sleep for the child”.
It is also good to think together while communicating with your child.
If you can create a good sleep rhythm, your body will naturally become sleepy at night, as well as lead to the healthy growth of your child.
The power to sleep well will be a treasure of a child’s life.”
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