Wait, what? No! Not only on school nights. It’s important (I would say it’s critical, but that’s because I’m so overprotective) that our children, kids or teenagers, go to bed early and get plenty of rest.
Getting enough sleep is a decisive function so that many processes of the mind and body, such as growing, focusing, strengthen memory and knowledge, building defenses against diseases and regaining energy, can perform as they suppose to. How much attention do we pay to our kids sleep (and our own as well)?
Bedtime and getting plenty of rest have become a serious topic in this house. In most cases, this subject turns out to be a non-negotiable matter. We are flexibles during weekends and special occasion, but always going by the “hour and a half” rule. I will talk about that later. Alejo doesn’t quite like it, but he takes a deep breath and rolls his eyes when he know it’s time for bed. He is now starting to understand how important is for every kid to get a good rest, especially for him and his sports, because getting toddler to sleep has a positive impact in his/her performance and growth.
Today I will give you some interesting tips about kids and teenagers getting enough rest that my husband and I have found over the years. The ones that I picked has been the most helpful tips. In this matter, these tips have allowed us to be aware and let us to talk to our son using strong arguments about how good for him is getting enough sleep every night, helping us go from “Alejo, go to bed now” or “That’s an order” to now, when he knows what time it is and goes to bed on his own.
People sleep during 1/3 of their life. In my 36 years, I’ve spent 12 of them sleeping, amazing! But let’s be honest, we don’t pay enough attention to this subject. We underestimate the act of sleeping because society tells us it’s “a waste of time” or it’s just sit around and do nothing (Moms, if this was true, we would never sleep at all). Actually, that way of thinking doesn’t show at all what happens to our body and brain during our sleep. It is at that moment that the body levels our system. Also, something we didn’t know happens; it is when we are deep in our sleep that our brain cleanses itself. When we don’t sleep well, the brain feels overwhelmed and doesn’t perform correctly, leaving us the next day in what we know as “zombie mode”. (I encourage you to watch the next video that will help you explain the kids WHY DO WE SLEEP?). Now that we know that, imagine how fast the body and brain of our children run, the physical and mental activities, the emotions and sensations they experience everyday. It is only with a good sleep that their body can efficiently slow down a notch to “do a little cleaning”, to balance and to power up before it’s time to go at it again.
It turns out that sleeping plays an important role in how we memorize and learn. We are starting to see something interesting as parents; a positive connection between our kid sleeping and doing well at school. And that helps us realize that one of the things we can do to help our kids to improve at school is to encourage them to get the right amount of sleep.
Here is little bit of history to make this tip worthy and help our kids getting plenty of rest. A little over a century ago, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus scientifically proved that we only retain about 40% of what we learned just the day before. That fact doesn’t sound good. What can we do to improve our memory and learning capabilities? Relax, the same psychologist suggested a few ways to do that. One of them is the very subject of this blog, getting enough sleep. He confirmed that having plenty of sleep and rest is imperative to accomplish better learning.
When we found all this information, we understood that staying up late (there’s nothing wrong staying up late once in a while) deteriorates the process of retaining data in our brain. That is why we decided that instead of staying up late studying, a short, quick, and precise review of the information is always better. But we kept going and going around importance of a good night’s sleep and agreed that it not only helps our kid at school. It also helps him at sports, as he is always getting new information about the movements he has to make and what positions he has to cover when he plays with the team.
I encourage you to watch this next video about the benefits of a good sleep and discuss it with your kids.
Growing strong and healthy go hand in hand, so pay attention to your kids sleep. It’s ok if you child stays up late one or two nights. But if the kid gets used to staying up late often, the child’s development might be interrupted because normally the growth hormone is released in their sleep. This doesn’t mean they will be tall if they sleep a lot. All I am trying to say is that in order for the child to have a regular development, sleeping is the key.
We’ll find this last tip very interesting and helpful. It has to do with our kid’s temper and disposition. I suspected a little about the relationship between Alejo’s mood and if he had sleep well the night before, because I noticed that when he wouldn’t enough sleep the night before he would be aloof and distracted. Turns out I was right. When the kid doesn’t get a good, relaxed and quiet sleep, their mood and disposition towards every day’s challenge will deteriorate, making them angry, distracted, moody and unmotivated. We perceive them that way on the outside because, on the inside, the mind and body are “low bat”, lacking the capability needed to process emotions and impulses the kids are exposed to.
These are the 4 most important tips that have encouraged us to take care of Alejo’s bedtime. They helped us be aware of how important is for him at 10 years old to rest and to allow his body to recharge. I sincerely hope this rings a bell for any of you and help you take this topic seriously. Having and understanding the information is the easy part. Making it happen, that’s another story.
Let your kids wear the coolest pajamas while they dream! Find them in OFFCORSS and at www.offcorss.com