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NSP advocates healthy sleep culture for children’s growth, academic excellence


The Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) is advocating for a healthy sleep culture for children’s physical and mental growth and development.

According to the NSP, quality sleep helps repair and restore body cells, tissues, and organs. In addition, it improves cognitive skills development, memory, alertness and general performance necessary for academic excellence.

The Coordinator, NSP PaediatricSpecialist   Group,   Dr   Ituen  Oluwakemi,   made   this   assertion   saying   children between the ages of 4-12 months should observe 12-16 hours of sleep; while 1-2years, 11-14  hours;   3-5   years,   10-13  hours;  6-12 years, 9-12  hours;   and   those between 13-18 years, 8-10 hours. According to the Doctor, quality sleep allows the pituitary gland in the brain to produce   different   specialized   hormones, including   the   growth   hormone,   which influences a child’s height.

This growth hormone is responsible for increasing the size and repairing tissues, muscles, and bones. This process is significant during puberty because   it  facilitates rapid growth spurts, as there  have  been  cases  of growth retardation in children with poor quality sleep over a long period.

In addition, Dr Oluwakemi advised parents to provide the right sleep solution to ensure quality sleep. Quality sleep is not just a function of duration, but also the sleep needs to be uninterrupted.

“When asleep at night, the child should wake unpot more than once to have a night of quality sleep, as the reverse has negative consequences   like   obesity, behavioural disorders,   attention deficit,  and restlessness, among many others.” She added.

According to her, it is worthy of note that quality sleep enhances a child’s   brain   capacity   to  reason, plan,   solve   problems,   think  abstractly, comprehend   and   solve  complex   problems,   learn   quickly, and  remember   past experiences, as well as in the area of language development.

The milestone a child misses during childhood may affect their adolescent and adult life, hence the need for the right   sleep   mattress from infanthood.

The   NSP   recommends   Mouka’s mattresses which are specially designed for children. The Dreamtime mattress is water-resistant yet breathable and made with the proper foam density for younger children, on the other hand the comfy mattress is covered with a polycotton fabric  and is made with  a low-density foam to keep the older children comfortable through the night “she affirmed.


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