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Sleep deprivation epidemic

EducationWorld August 2019 | Mailbox

There’s no doubt that we live in a sleep-deprived society (‘Is sleep deprivation holding your child back’, PW July). Sadly, this adult disorder is now spreading to children and impacting their physical and emotional health. Children need more than the seven-nine hours of sleep recommended for adults. Signs of sleep deprivation in children are excessive daytime sleepiness, dark circles under eyes, lack of concentration in school, irritability, hyperactivity, impatience, and mood swings. Parents need to watch out for these signs.

I strongly believe that parents need to lead the way in inculcating good sleep habits in children. When children observe that parents are constantly glued to their mobile phones and binge-watching television serials until late into nights, they are likely to emulate their behaviour. Parents should role model good sleep habits and encourage children and other family members to practice them.

Pradeep Kumar AC
Chennai

Academic pressure ruining children’s sleep

The cover story on sleep deprivation was interesting and informative (PW July). As a student who often sacrifices sleep in the cause of academic work, a reminder on its importance was much needed.

Nowadays academic pressure is playing havoc with children’s sleep patterns. Unfortunately many young people, including myself, are victims of the misconception that sleep deprivation helps rather than hinders academic success. Less sleep=more time=more work done. This is a lie that must be set right. To complete work of high standard, sleep is a necessity that cannot be bypassed.

Sometimes I would sleep less than 5-6 hours as I raced to complete school assignments. But gradually I found that higher efficiency during the day following a good night’s sleep gave me no reason to stay up at all.

I applaud ParentsWorld for backing up the story with detailed research.

Sarah Samuel
Bangalore

Useful sleep regimen

Thanks for your enlightening cover story ‘Is sleep deprivation holding your child back’ (PW July). In our household, over the past few months I have been noticing that it’s not only adults but also children who are sleeping less hours.

So as a family we decided to follow a “best practices” sleep regimen. It may sound too ‘corporate’ — perhaps because of my HR stint hangover — but it seems to be working well for our family.

Here is our regimen: We stick to the same bedtime and wake time every day, even on weekends; digital devices are banned in bedrooms; and we follow a bedtime routine — brush teeth, put on night clothes, and read a book; and the mornings are reserved for exercise. I recommend this regimen for sleep-deprived families!

Srilakshmi Parthasarathy
Bangalore

Excellent reading apps listing

My child has been diagnosed with a reading problem. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to read the Resources section of ParentsWorld which recommended an excellent list of apps to boost the reading skills of children with special needs. It would be great if PW could introduce a section focusing on parenting guidelines for children with special needs.

Deepthi Aravind
Mumbai

Set right parental priorities!

Congratulations on publishing an excellent parenting magazine! I believe this magazine is the need of the hour as parents need education. I notice that parents everywhere are pushing their children to focus on academics, exams and marks to qualify for admission into an IIT or IIM and consequently securing a fat pay packet.

But my advice to parents is to pause and reflect on the increasing number of adolescents committing suicide, and the scores of others suffering depression and mental health disorders because they are not able to meet unrealistic parental expectations.

Good exam scores and a well-paying job are not the only purpose of life. Consumerism is already ruining lives and families. We need to build family values and character instead of focusing on marks, lucrative jobs, and fat pay packets.

Vimala Peters
Delhi

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