The Power Of SleepPosted on: 28/01/2022
Are you a lark or an owl? Chronotype is the natural inclination of your body to sleep at a certain time. I’m definitely a lark; I wake up at 5.15 a.m. and visit my horse before getting ready for school, and I am happily at my desk by about 7 a.m. However, come 9.30 p.m. I am basically done and I’m ready for my bed! Now, I know that my advancing years may impact my early evening bedtime but I do strongly believe that having a good night's sleep is absolutely paramount.
I am not alone in this belief. Research tells us that good sleep is essential for the whole family, which is why we spend a third of our lives doing it!
Sleep is the foundation for good health. It affects every single part of our body, it affects our eating habits, exercise, hormones, immunity, learning, memory, creativity, decision making, mood and behaviour. While we sleep our brain is creating links and making memories. Put simply, sleep is replenishing and repairing.
We have been discussing our value of fairness this week and it has been fascinating to hear the children’s perceptions on what they feel is fair. Numerous children with older siblings have spoken about how they feel it is unfair that their sibling gets to go to bed later than them. I urge you not to succumb to your child bemoaning that their bedtime is too early and give sleep the kudos it deserves. By teaching your child/children to have a bedtime routine that precedes a good night's sleep, you are giving them a wonderful skill for life.
I refer back to my sleep routine. Yes, I get up early but I go to bed early too, meaning that I am getting the recommended 7-9 hours for an adult.
The recommended amount differs for children according to their age. For example, 5 year olds need 11 hours a night, while 9 year olds need 10 hours. You can see the NHS guidelines for recommended sleep times here:
Routine is key and doing the same relaxing things in the same order will greatly support your sleep pattern. For example, a warm bath, dimmed lights and a shared story. I am an advocate of mindfulness and will often practice the ‘body scan’ meditation just before I go to sleep. I have to be honest and admit that I often don’t get past my knees before I nod off!
Avoid screen time before bed. This wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t mention the perils of screen time at some point! But once again I am backed by research, so please do try to keep your bedrooms a screen free zone - ye,s I mean you too, mums and dads!
So, referring back to our current value - be fair to your family and yourself and never underestimate the power of sleep!