Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Sleep=Growing Healthy Kids

"Sleep is the golden chain that ties our health and our bodies together."  
                                                           --Thomas Dekker

Image result for picture of sleeping kids

Cell phones.  I always ask kids where they keep their cell phones at night.  The most common answer is, “on my bed” or “next to my bed”.  

All parents need to know that having a cell phone within 10 feet of a child’s brain can interfere with brain development and the ability to get a good night’s sleep.  It is frightening how many parents are not educated about the dangers associated with children’s brain and cell phones.

“Sleep hygiene” is the habit of preparing one’s body and mind for restful sleep: no caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime, no TV or video games at least an hour before bedtime, no vigorous exercise right before bedtime, and creating one’s bedtime as a peaceful sanctuary.  Add “cell phones charging in another room” to this list. 

Talk with your family.  Ensure that everyone with a cell phone is charging them someplace other than right next to their heads at night.  Start a new family habit and move all electronics out of the bedroom.   At least unplug any electronics in the bedroom at night so the blue and red lights do not interfere with sleep.

Make sure your kids are getting enough sleep (see “Wellness Wednesdays” published August 19, 2015:  “Sleeping for Good Grades and Good Health”).  Not getting enough sleep is associated with being overweight and with poor academic performance.  Make sleep a priority.  Your brain and your body will thank you!  

Everyone deserves to "sleep like a baby" and ALL kids deserve to be Growing Healthy Kids.

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.