A modern study has shown that students who achieve averages of C, D and lower grades get approximately 25-30 fewer minutes of sleep per night than those who achieve A and Bs. What does this mean for the emerging generations? These days, we have far more opportunities to sleep through the night, yet we are facing a sleep crisis, and the younger generations simply are not getting enough.
I have heard personal accounts from teachers that their young students, ages 6 and 7, are coming to school sleep deprived after spending long nights playing video games or watching tv. One teacher I know allows her students to nap during class, just to make sure they get the sleep they need.
What then, is the solution?
Studies have shown the impact of blue light from devices have on the brain in the evening hours leading up to sleep. Our circadian rhythm, on which we all rely to remain balanced between night time and day, is greatly influenced by exposure to light. This exposure alters our responses to the ordinary nighttime triggers that tell our brains that it is time to sleep.
Help our kids create a nurturing sleep environment:
- Forgo electronics within 1-2 hours of bedtime.
- Make the bedroom and electronics-free zone overnight.
- Include VOC-free bedding, and organic pillows and blankets that keep children cozy and tucked in.
- Consider dimming lights before going to sleep in the evening.
- Teach children the importance of sleep.
There is something to that blanket or stuffy that children the world over hang on to. At Resthouse, we encourage children to sleep with something they can hold on to, as the hugging motion they recreate during sleep can do wonders to calm their nervous systems (releasing oxytocin) and bring them into a deep and truly peaceful sleep. A body pillow used in this way may also quickly become an alignment tool that helps them sleep on their sides throughout the years and before they develop bad sleep positioning.
With these tips in mind, we hope you can create a nurturing and healthy environment for the children you know. Sleep is a lifelong practise that starts building its foundation in early development. With a brain supported by sleep, especially those 25-30 extra minutes, children can grow to become the healthy and happy thinkers, dreamers and doers of future generations.