I think it’s funny how we start out as babies, sleeping all the time…our physiological needs calling the shots. Basically, they eat, expel and sleep A LOT, growing immensely in the first year. As young children, they don’t WANT to go to bed. I stayed up as a kid afraid I was going to miss something! That’s what led to the occasional bedtime tantrum and my parents loud exclamations of “Just go to bed!!” They never told me WHY sleep was important, just that I needed to get to it! I thought they were being mean and let’s face it, they probably just wanted some adult time. I’m a mother now, so I get it.
As an adult, (and I speak for many people I know) I never seem to get enough sleep…and I WANT to go to bed now. The mere thought of a little, mid afternoon nap with no children or pets around is in the top 5 on my list of “Things I Wish I Could Do Every Day for the Rest of My Life”.
I’ve been with Sleepex LabRetriever for over 5 years. I haven’t just picked up on how sleep lab management software can help labs in the industry, I’ve learned quite a bit about the importance of sleep and its cycle as well. So, as a mom I find myself explaining to my kids the importance of sleep as it relates to their mood, performance at school and in sports, how quickly they recover from sickness, and how much energy they will have the next day. I’ve used our puppy’s bursts of playfulness and running, followed by the inevitable crash from exhaustion as an example of how the body tells us what it needs in a very simple way.
I only wish I had started explaining it to them when they were younger…wish someone had explained it to ME when I was a kid. It would’ve saved my parents some grief and my role as “mom” would have been much easier at nap/bed times. Perhaps, I would even have been able to address my own sleep issues back then.
Well, today I came across some storybook apps from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine designed to educate kids. The apps are free and available for iPad, Kindle and Android devices. I also found a great website that provides more detail about sleep, but does so in a way that’s easy to understand for the little ones (and YES! it includes games!!)
Whether you’re part of the sleep industry or a parent, taking the time to help children understand how important sleep is may help them develop good sleeping habits they carry with them for a lifetime. With all the evidence there is to support the correlation between sleep disorders and health issues, you’d be doing them a great service!