Sleep is important for (sensitive) children.

Highly sensitive children need sleep, a lot of sleep.

During sleep, our vital functions are restored and we process the impressions we have gained during the awake state. During our sleep we restore both our body and our mind.

The more impressions we receive, the more must be processed. The processing of all acquired impressions occurs during REM sleep or dream sleep. We only do physical recovery and really rest during deep sleep.

A lot happens in our body during sleep.

  • the brain activity changes;
  • the body temperature drops (about 1 degree);
  • the pupils are getting smaller;
  • the heartbeat slows down;
  • less air is inhaled;
  • less saliva and less urine is produced;
  • the amount of growth hormones is increasing;
  • the amount of stress hormones is decreasing.

A sleep cycle consists of four phases of sleep and lasts around 90 to 120 minutes.

The different phases of a sleep cycle are distinguished from each other by the degree of brain activity and eye movements. Only in the final phase are there rapid eye movements. That is why this phase is called “Rapid Eye Movement” (REM) sleep.

Deep sleep and dream sleep are the most important. The deep sleep ensures physical recovery and the dream sleep ensures mental recovery.

Healthy sleep goes through the following four phases:

1. Light transitional sleep or snooze stage

The snooze phase is the transition stage between waking and sleeping. The eye movement becomes slower. You have trouble keeping your eyes open and eventually fall asleep. The brain activity decreases slowly.

2. Light sleep

Sleep starts in this phase, but it is still very light. You no longer wake up from every sound, but you can easily be awakened.

3. Deep sleep

This is the phase of real deep sleep. Breathing and heart rate drop to the lowest rate. When you are awakened from this sleep you are disoriented and you need time to realize where you are. This phase ensures physical recovery. Just think of the physical recovery from illness. A sick child will sleep much more because it heals better during sleep and also rebuilds its resistance.

4. Dream sleep REM sleep

In this phase there are rapid eye movements (Rapid Eye Movement) and there is talk of great brain activity. Muscles are completely relaxed.

During REM sleep there is brain activity that is similar to when someone is awake.

The brains during REM sleep are active with dreams, processing information and all kinds of memory functions. During the dream sleep, therefore, great activity of body and mind takes place. This phase therefore costs energy. The function of the dream sleep is to restore the mind and to refresh and process experiences we have gained during the day.

An adult is in REM sleep for 15% of his sleep. With a baby that can be as much as 70%.

The more incentives we have to process, the more we need REM sleep.

A child must have both sufficient REM sleep and deep sleep. The more incentives gained during the day, the more hours of sleep the child needs.

With highly sensitive children and adults (this principle also applies to adults) we notice that they have a lot to do with fatigue. This is a logical consequence of their sensitivity. Because the more incentives you receive, the more you have to process. If we assume that highly sensitive children experience everything up to 10 times more intense than other children, it is only logical that quality sleep is very important to them. If a child has to process a lot, he will be in REM sleep most of the night. That is at the expense of deep sleep. Deep sleep is needed for physical recovery, resistance, growth, organ development and much more.

Did you know that the body produces many more new cells and antibodies during sleep than when someone is awake?

Children who get too little qualitative deep sleep will have a lower resistance and therefore become sick faster or are physically more sensitive to allergens. From one bad night every child recovers without problems. But beware of a chronic lack of qualitative deep sleep. Before you realize it, you end up in a circle that is difficult to break out.

How can you help your sensitive child to get enough quality sleep?

Here are 7 tips that contribute to quality sleep:

  1. Get enough hours of sleep. So that there is enough time to experience both the necessary REM sleep and deep sleep.
  2. A fixed sleep rhythm gives structure and ensures that you fall asleep more easily and wake up fit. Always go to bed at the same time and set the alarm clock at the same time every day.
  3. Think of a sleep ritual. Something that you do every day again. This gives children a familiar and safe feeling.
  4. Do not go to bed with an empty stomach or just after a very heavy meal. You will fall asleep less well and the quality of sleep will be less than when you go to bed healthy satisfied. Healthy food is nourishing for both body and mind.
  5. Do not put your child in front of a TV or computer screen the last hour before bedtime. This makes it harder for your child to fall asleep. This has to do with our sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin is produced in humans in the epiphysis and controls our sleep-wake rhythm. In humans, the production of melatonin is directly linked to exposure to light. In the presence of bluish light (due to the sun or artificial light such as television and other screens) the production of melatonin is inhibited. If exposure to light decreases, the natural production of melatonin starts again. For the body this is the signal to prepare for the night.
  6. In a pleasant bed and a cozy but little decorated room, a child feels safe and secure. The bedding also has an influence on our sleep. Sensitive children quickly become over-excited when they have to sleep under stiff, rough or rustling sheets. Rather opt for soft, supple sheets and blankets that follow the shapes of the body well. Easy to rotate and be soft in contact with sensitive skin.
  7. Also think of adapted sleeping clothes. A well-fitting pajama that fits comfortably. Not too wide and not too tight. Without tickling labels or edges. When we sleep, our temperature drops 1 ° C. We need more heat around our body. So choose sleeping clothes that match the temperature of the bedroom. If your body is not too hot and not too cold you will sleep better.

With these 7 tips that contribute to quality sleep, sleeping becomes a healing activity more than ever. We can help you with the last two tips. Are you looking for a soft, pleasant pajama for summer or winter? You will certainly find a beautiful and relaxing item in our range.

Did you know that we also make sheets, fitted sheets and down covers from our soft bamboo fabric? Our luxurious bamboo satin makes you long for your bed all day long. Give yourself and your children the blissful feeling of pure softness and luxury every night again. Available in fresh natural ecru or chick black.

Written by Apr. Sofie Dierckx