There’s a reason why our Moms kept on telling us sleep early when we were still little toddlers. Do they know something we don’t? All we can remember is that we had to sleep earlier so that we will grow taller, brighter, and healthier. Although our Moms did not really explain how sleeping will help us achieve all of these things, sleep time was really a great time for us as children. It is no wonder then that one of the most sought after gift suggestion is a toddler’s bed.
Now, there are plenty of beds out there. Some come in fancy designs and styles while others come as fully convertibles. Whatever you choose, it is best to select one that your toddler will surely love. Of course, it should provide optimum comfort. Unfortunately, all toddler’s beds will tell you they are comfortable. So, what do you do? Well, leave that to us as we bring you the top 10 beds for toddlers this 2016.
How We Chose the Top Beds for Toddlers in Our List
Choosing which toddler’s bed to include in our top 10 list is very challenging indeed. We had to tweak our usual process of determining the inclusion criteria in our shortlist by emphasizing more on the overall integrity of the design especially the materials used. This is very important as toddlers will be sleeping on their respective beds for a great majority of their day (or night). As such, it is crucial that the toddler bed does not contain any harmful chemicals that may leach and diffuse into the air where it can be unknowingly inhaled by the sleeping child. We don’t want this to happen, do we?
Additionally, we also had to take a careful consideration of the bed-maker. We had to look for signs of credibility as well as reputation in the form of awards and similar achievements perhaps in the overall design of the toddler’s bed. We also had to look at the countless reviews as well as feedbacks provided by consumers or customers who have first-hand experience in using the toddler’s bed. We know that you will also be looking for these things so we knew we had to include them.
Sleep and Toddler’s Development
Can you remember the time when your Mom told you to go to bed early so that you will grow taller and healthier? Sadly, Mom never offered any plausible explanations as to why we needed to go to bed early. This is especially true when we were still toddlers and preschoolers. Maybe she did explain it to us but it was so long ago that we have somehow forgotten all about it. Besides, our language and comprehension skills may not yet be that fully developed when Mom attempted to explain.
Nevertheless, scientists now say that there is truth to what Moms all over the world have been telling their kids. Going to bed early helps children grow taller, smarter, and healthier. And all of these are inherently tied to the work of the human growth hormone.
You see, our bodies rely on a set of hormones that command how the different building blocks are supposed to be placed in relation to one another. These building blocks are proteins as well as other substances that are necessary to transcribe the information from one cell to the next. That is why cells are identical because the information contained in one cell is replicated or copied as is to produce two daughter cells. A collection of cells lead to the formation or development of a tissue. A collection of different tissues make up the different organs of the body including the brain, the muscles, the heart, and all other organs. So you see, everything starts with a single cell. Now, where does human growth hormone fit into all of these?
Growth hormone is secreted by a small knob of endocrine tissue located just underneath the brain. This gland is known as the pituitary gland and is under the direct control of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus releases a growth hormone releasing factor to stimulate the front-facing portion of the pituitary gland to start synthesizing human growth hormone in addition to other hormones. HGH, as human growth hormone is fondly called, controls the body’s growth. This simply means that it is responsible for the increased synthesis of proteins to increase muscle mass and the formation and development of other protein-based structures. HGH is also responsible for the growth and development of all other internal organs. It is also helpful in the burning of fat by increasing the gluconeogenetic activity of the liver. It also helps increase the mineralization of bones so that they don’t grow to become brittle. There are many other functions of human growth hormone. The important thing to remember is that, as the name implies, it is responsible for the optimum growth and development of human beings.
Where does sleep fit into all of these, you ask? Well, studies have shown that the brain produces most of its human growth hormone during the deep stage of sleep. This is the time when you are in a stage where you will be difficult to arouse. You are in complete state of relaxation that only vigorous shaking or the application of pressure will arouse you from your sleep. The sad thing is that the later we go to sleep, the slimmer the chances of getting into deep sleep. The earlier we go to bed, the greater the chances of reaching the deep stage of sleep.
Here’s an explanation for this. Throughout our sleep, we go through 4 different stages plus a stage known as REM sleep stage. Stages 3 and 4 are considered to be the deep stages of sleep and it is here where the body is in its absolutely relaxed form. Throughout the night, we go through 3 to 4 cycles of these sleep stages. Unfortunately, if we sleep late, then we only get a few cycles or even just one. Additionally, studies show that as the night progresses, Stages 3 and 4 shortens while Stage 5 or REM stage increases.
So, the earlier we go to sleep, the longer we stay in the deep stage of sleep. The longer we stay in Stages 3 and 4, the greater is the amount of human growth hormone produced by our body. The greater the amount of human growth hormone, the more profound its effects on our growth and development. Logical, isn’t it?
Now, applying this knowledge to toddlers, we can safely conclude that their growth and development can be best enhanced by the amount of their sleep through the action of substantially increased human growth hormone secretion. Their bones grow stronger and denser allowing them to jump, run, skip, and hop which forms the core of the physical development of toddlers. This also allows toddlers to explore their surroundings a lot better. As we all know, toddlers have plenty of energy to fuel their curiosity. Because their muscles and bones are growing and developing optimally, they are able to go about their task of exploring and learning more about their own unique worlds.
Healthy bones and muscles also allow toddlers to master their visual motor coordination, balance, and proprioceptive senses. Toddlers are also able to improve their gross and fine motor skills as well as enhance or strengthen their spatial intelligence.
From their explorations, toddlers can begin to formulate concepts or ideas about how the world functions. This provides the foundation for creativity and imagination. They also learn to improve their language and communication skills as they start to make simple experimentations with their environment. They are now able to value relationships especially those with their caregivers.
The Bottom Line
The relationship between sleep and optimum toddler growth and development is strongly tied to the synthesis and activity of human growth hormone. Thus, it is very important to help toddlers go to bed earlier so they can reap the full benefits of increased HGH secretion during sleep. And while sleep aids such as night lights, soothing music, and plush sleep toys can help, nothing beats the importance of a truly comfortable bed for toddlers. With our list of the world’s top 10 beds for toddlers, we are strongly optimistic that your kid will be developing and growing to his or her optimum potential.