We often assume that sleep is like a bank account that we can draw down now and replenish later, but researchers have discovered that even short-term sleep deficits can have serious health consequences from delayed brain development to obesity. Today in our science of sleep series, we’ll be looking at sleepiness and accidents.
Children of all ages are at a signiﬁcantly increased risk of getting hurt in an accident if they don’t get enough sleep. Several large studies have shown that the less sleep a child gets, the more likely they are to accidentally hurt themselves. And while many accidents don’t require medical care, accidental injuries are the leading cause of death in children over one year old.
A recent high-proﬁle study found that the risk of a serious accidental injury from lack of sleep extends into late adolescence. Researchers discovered when high schools have later start times (thus allowing for more sleep), their students have fewer automobile accidents.
All in all, a growing body of research is showing us the myriad ways sleep is vital to health. And, we know that healthy sleep patterns begin in infancy and are established in early childhood. Scientists now recognize that the most important elements in building healthy patterns center around comforting and safe associations with sleep and a shared child-parent bedtime routine that soothingly focuses on sight, sound, touch, and smell. Cloud b products are speciﬁcally designed to aid parents in each of these areas.
This post is excerpted from our report, “Sleep is Fundamental for Children’s Health.” Download the full PDF HERE.