Why Sleep Is So Important for Children

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Playing Kim Fields Hopes to Destigmatize Postpartum Depression in Communities of Color

Sleep is vital to everyone, and extra important for children and The Doctors explain why your little ones need to get a good night's rest.

Watch: Plant-Based Sleep Aids to Add to Your Sleep Routine

Dr. Ian Smith is joined by actress, director, and former reality star Kim Fields, who sheds light on postpartum depression in communities of color in her new short film, “Baby Blue,” and they also discuss sleep and kids.

Kim shares, "The [quarantine] sleep schedule is so often out of whack," and she is concerned about how not sticking to a sleep schedule might affect her children, especially in terms of growth and development.  

Dr. Ian notes the older a child gets, the less sleep they need, but says even teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. He goes on to explain that while kids are sleeping, human growth hormone (HGH) is released in the body, which is needed for hair and nail growth, and muscle repair. He says kids who do not have enough HGH tend to be shorter, enter puberty later, have more problems learning and there is even a possible link to being predisposed to obesity.

Watch: Chronic Irregular Sleep in Kids Linked to Mental Illness?

Dr. Ian stresses that all kids need the proper amount of sleep each night and that it should be uninterrupted sleep. He also notes that a child's sleep is most optimal if it occurs on a schedule and one that matches our internal circadian rhythm. 

Hear more with Kim, including details on being on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” in the video below.

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