March 7, 2019

Restful, restorative sleep for kids (and adults)

Although most people adjust in a day or two, it can take some people up to a week to get used to the shift to Daylight Saving Time.

As you set your clocks forward this weekend, take a few minutes to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting you family's quality and quantity of sleep.

Benefits of restful sleep

Research has taught us that the benefits of restful sleep are plentiful. Good sleep promotes brain, heart, lung, muscle and bone health. Better concentration, enhanced attention, better problem-solving skills and improved recall are possible with good sleep habits. Plus, improved sleep leads to fewer changes in mood. All good things for children and adults.

Our physical and emotional health is impacted by our ability to get restful, restorative sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of sleep you need each night varies with age and is especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it's important to assess where you fall on the Sleep Needs Spectrum.

Adequate sleep is especially important for the growing and developing brain (and body) of our children. In fact, during a good night's sleep, our brain is quite active depositing information into memory and flushing out waste products made by brain cells during the day. These are key steps in developing a healthy brain.

Sleep can be interrupted by many factors such as erratic work and school schedules, disruptive blue lights, stress, caffeine and travel.

Practice these tips for better sleep

  • Try reading or practice mindful breathing to calm your thoughts

  • Move TV and screen time to at least 1 hour before bedtime

  • Limit active play or exercise close to bedtime

  • Create a comfortable sleeping room: a cool temperature, cozy bedding and just the right amount of darkness

  • Pause before you eat: Going to sleep with a full belly might delay sleep

  • Stick with water: Drinking beverages containing sugar and/or caffeine, such as soda, can prevent restful sleep

Learn more about how you can feel better and start improving your sleep today at