Family relationships expert Randy Rolfe recommends a good night’s sleep, for kids AND their parents! In the busy world we live in, trying to make ends meet, trying to please everyone - at work, at home, and even voices from the media - trying to fit everything in every day, and trying to give our children every advantage, we forget that we all need to stop and sleep, every day, for 7-8 hours!
Yet it is amazing how many problems getting a regular good night’s sleep can solve – with no effort on your part except to take the time to do it! Problems as diverse as attention deficit issues, frequent infections, sassy backtalk, anxiety, depression, poor appetite, sugar cravings, recurrent pain or injuries, and skin problems, can all be addressed with better sleep habits!
All living creatures require time for the reactive, responsive functions of the body to quit for a while and let the unconscious functions do the repair, cleansing, rebuilding, and processing necessary so that our bodies can address the events of the next waking period. Just think how often your dog or cat or bird sleeps! It's no accident that they are friendly and there for you when they are awake.
Children and their parents are no different. It is during the 4-5 hour period of deep sleep which occurs during an uninterrupted night, that the immune system rebuilds itself, the brain processes all the disparate information that came in during the day, the memory sorts what needs to be learned and stores it appropriately, the muscles relax and rebalance, and the digestion cleans itself for the next nourishing activity. It's the only time when true rejuevenation happens. Why miss out on any of that?
Yet half of American adults in official surveys say they don’t get a good night’s sleep. And the majority of college students admit to falling asleep in class at least once in the past week! And children, without knowing the consequences, are staying up to play video games, look at silly photos, or text their friends. No wonder they are hard to wake up in the morning, miss a lot during their morning classes at school, and want sugary snacks to keep them going!
A much neglected key to a better life is to create good sleeping habits. Kids thrive on healthy sleep routines and so do we. Sleep is one of the Basic Needs described in Randy Rolfe's books, You Can Postpone Anything but Love and The Seven Secrets of Successful Parents, as well as The Four Temperaments.
Randy's Take Home tips. Stop eating 2 hours before bed, turn off all electronics 20 minutes before bed, make sure the bed is compfortable and supportive, and get in bed at least 8-1/2 hours before you have to do something in the morning. Then be sure to have some nourishment in the morning before starting your day – including some form of protein (like whole grain cereal, yogurt, almonds, cheese, eggs, or even left-over bean salad). This routine can truly change your life. It can dramatically improve your relationships and give your children a better school and life experience.