Palm Desert, California (PressExposure) June 17, 2009 -- As a parent, are you aware of the effect a lack of proper sleep can have on your toddler? You probably know it isn't healthy for them but do you know in what areas it will affect them? If parents don't get their toddler sleep problems under control and ensure their toddler sleeps through the night some of the affects could be as follows:
1. Slower brain function. Your toddler will start school around the age of 3. Earlier if you put him in nursery or pre-school. His lovely brain all fresh and new is not able to give him its full capacity for learning because he has not had enough sleep, either from falling asleep too late or from disturbed sleep in the middle of the night. School time means waking up very early for parent and toddler. Not enough sleep will make this task of waking early extremely difficult, as your child's body feels like it has not had enough rest, also causing the above problem during school time. So this has a double affect. Difficulty in waking up early for school and slower brain function during learning time at school.
2. Diet and Eating. Toddlers will often have less appetite from being over tired. This is not to say they just won't eat but it can be the culprit to his eating poorly or not eating enough for his age. This in itself carries with it other health and nutrition issues. It is also likely that due to being tired, his body will crave more carbohydrates and sugary foods. This causes weight gain, which houses a whole list of illnesses. In deed toddler sleep problems have an immense effect on the body, mind, and appetite.
3. Weight problems. Toddler sleep problems contribute to toddler weight problems. Professionals say a toddler who watches too much TV and lacks sleep is 16% more likely to be overweight. As you may know, obesity in children is a major focus in the health world right now. These toddlers tend to only want snacks, usually while watching TV, but when it is time to consume a meal, they are not bothered. Overweight and too much sugar in the diet can lead to diabetes, which experts say is fast on the rise in children.
4. Physical Fitness. A Toddler who lacks sleep is less inclined to be physically active enough for their benefit. They don't have the energy to keep up with other kids their age, making them feel inadequate and uninterested in physical activity. This along with toddler sleep problems contributes to weight gain. Physical activity will help your toddler sleep better and have a more healthy appetite. Get your toddler physical!
5. Immune System. Lack of sleep lowers your child's immune system. The same goes for lack of exercise and being overweight.
Toddler sleep problems can be addressed either by following a solid sleep routine prior to bedtime, or choosing a baby sleep program. Either way, make no mistake that it is imperative toddlers get a good night sleep on a regular basis in order for their body to operate to its full potential. While you are working through this stage with your toddler ensure to boost his immune system to strengthen his body against illness and disease.