Sleep benefits us in many ways. It helps us remember what we learned, pay attention and concentrate, think of new ideas, and solve problems. Sleep also helps our bones and muscles grow. Sleep is one of the greatest factors in fighting illness in the body and recovering from injury.
Children (ages 5 to 12) need 10-11 hours of sleep each night. Adolescents (ages of 14-17) need 8-10 hours of sleep a night. And don’t forget the adults who need 7-9 hours sleep each night! That’s a lot of sleep! Most of us would say that we have issues with our sleep. Not getting enough sleep is the most common concern, but some people are sleeping too much, or their sleep is interrupted.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we try a sleep relaxation routine and learn some tips for quality sleep.
- Lie down on a mat, your bed or if you are trying this at school, sit comfortably.
- Take a few deep and slow breaths into your belly and out through your nose.
- Imagine you are in your own peaceful place where you feel happy and safe. Explore your peaceful place. Notice details of the landscape. Listen for animals or water. Smell the trees and flowers.
- Imagine doing something fun! You could ride a whale, fly with an eagle or run with an elephant.
- Before you leave, discover a gift, it is just for you.
- To return to the present moment, say goodbye to your peaceful place and your animal friends.
- Bring your attention back to the sounds around you. Open your eyes. Hold this peaceful place in your heart while you drift off to sleep.
Caregiver tips for quality sleep:
- Ensure bedtime is at the same time every night; this helps get into a routine.
- Follow a bedtime routine that is calming, like the relaxation activity above, a story, a bath.
- Avoid or limit caffeine (from pop, energy drinks, coffee, tea or chocolate) from the afternoon onwards.
- Screens should be outside of the bedroom and should not be used at least one hour before bed.
- Work with your child to determine their sleep needs. Guidelines for sleep duration for different ages is typically based on what the “average” child/teen needs, but there is a range. Some children/teens need more sleep, while others can function on slightly less. Figure out what works best for your child through observation and discussions of how they are feeling.
- If you are worried about your child or teen’s sleep see below for resources around sleep difficulties and/or talk to your family doctor or pediatrician.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How could a better sleep help you tomorrow? The next day? A year from now?
What are you hopeful will change in your life with better sleep?
Connecting to our faith:
“I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land.” (Leviticus 26:6)
- General caregiver tips to help kids sleep: www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=646&language=english
- Children’s Information and resources about sleep: Sleep for Kids www.sleepforkids.org/index.html
- Teens with sleep difficulties: https://drcolleencarney.com/
- Adult YouTube: Sleep – Guided Meditation for Deep Peaceful Natural Rest: https://youtu.be/IZuiMGfvIj0
Employees of LDCSB check out WorkLifeHealth from EAP Provider Morneau
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