Lately I have been noticing more kids throwing tantrums over everything, with frustrated parents trying to calm them down, or plainly ignoring them. Usually the day starts well for the parents, then you see the child getting fussy, so the parents give them candy or a soda to keep them busy. After that “snack” the child goes into a full-blown temper tantrum; most people associate that with a sugar rush.
Although true, sugar rush isn’t the only contributing factor in the tantrum. If you look at your watch at the time of the tantrum, you’ll find that the clock is close to 7-8pm. I don’t know why parents feel that a child is capable of staying up late and composing themselves, children in school need A LOT of sleep! Here is an info graphic that illustrates how much time kids need to sleep:
A child staying up until 10pm (which is usually when these parents take their kids home) might be in bed around 11pm, then he has to be up at 6:30am to go to school, that’s 7 and a half hours of sleep only! A lot of adults need more than that to be fully rested, imagine how it is for a developing child.
If you speak to a school teacher, she’ll tell you that a lot of students have “attention problems” (remember the label love? ADHD blamed again) or are not well disciplined, where in actuality those kids are just sleep deprived. Common signs of sleep deprivation:
- Mood – Sleep deprivation may cause your school-aged child to be moody, irritable, and cranky. In addition, he may have a difficult time regulating his mood, such as by getting frustrated or upset more easily.
- Behavior – School-aged children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have behavior problems, such as noncompliance and hyperactivity.
- Learning – Inadequate sleep may result in problems with attention, memory, decision-making, reaction time, and creativity, all which are important in school.
All of the above translate to “ADHD” symptoms; only they don’t need medication, just more sleep. In my opinion, kids are “cognitively challenged” not because they are genetically short of smartness, they are not getting the rest they need to grow. Parents are responsible for their child’s sleep, he will not miss out on something just because he didn’t go to the mall, but he will miss out when he gets frustrated that he cannot understand what is being taught in class.
This also applies to adults, your performance and mood are directly linked to how much sleep you are getting, and no cup of coffee can make up for missed sleep hours.