I’ve just been helping my son, Hamish with a school project and there are some things that have come out of it which I thought people would find really interesting. This is by the way a year eight PDHPE school project. What the kids had to do was a project about exercise, it was about sleep, and about school work.
What they were asked to do was to look at the above-mentioned items and relate them to how the body works. How they benefit the body; what effects the body goes through if there is insufficiencies or deficiencies in any area; and how all three interrelate to each other.
I found it, well, quite interesting because, at the end of Hamish running through his work, I asked, “how does sleep effect you?” and “What happens if you do not get enough sleep?”
Hamish pretty much blurted out, “according to what all of the information says if you do not get enough sleep you can become depressed, become anxious.” He then went through more of his notes and said that it can lead to truancy.
I asked, “what does truancy mean because that’s a pretty big word?”
He said, “you just don’t go to school because you are always sick, you are just run down.”
He then added that “your reflexes will become decreased as well which means that your sports performance isn’t going to be too good either. And also, your marks at school aren’t going to be that good because you can’t concentrate as well.”
Pretty comprehensive, and all very straight forward.
When we put all of those things together, the depression, the anxiety, the poor concentration, being run down and having poor immunity, they’re all derived from not getting enough sleep.
My question to you is, what do we tend to do or if you go to the doctor complaining of depression, anxiety complaining of not feeling well, feeling rundown…are you prescribed…to get more sleep?
I highly doubt it!
And you know, and I know that’s the truth!
Because what the kids are getting prescribed these days is more and more medication. Medication for depression; medication for anxiety. There will be uppers, there will be downers. Yes, they are for kids. There are behavioural issues caused by not enough sleep and they will get given things to sit still like Ritalin. They get told that they have ADD or ADHD. There are certain things that we can do to make sure the kids stay off these meds and it all revolves around getting a better night’s sleep.
Make sure you kids get the desired amount of sleep that’s right for their age group. Make sure they’re sleeping in a well darkened room that means no external light.
Make sure your kids are off electronic devices at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed. That’s TV, iPads, computers, iPhones. Put them away…actually take them out of the bedroom. Don’t have those devices in the bedroom.
Make sure that the room is also quite dark. Cover up the lights. For example, on the phone (if using it as an alarm clock), or the light from the alarm clock used to wake them up.
Make sure also to get a good night sleep that there are no sweet foods eaten prior to going to bed. Berries (if you have a sweet tooth) are great… they will help top sustain you for a good night’s sleep.
To get a good night’s sleep, you don’t need to always be prescribed medication. Maybe the prescription for what you are suffering from could just be a good night’s sleep!