Life & Style
Children on average should be getting between 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night. In the technology driven world that we live today, it’s more like 6 to 8 hours a day. How do I know this? Well I have nieces and nephews and sleep is something they never want to do. I remember trying to get my nephews who were 3 and 7 at the time to sleep after a long day of festivities.
What I discovered is that kids are precocious; they want to know things, more importantly they always think they’re going to miss something. What I discovered was that I went to sleep before they did. The irony is while I though I slept like a baby, they were still goofing around. So why am I so worried? They went to sleep a 2 a.m. and were up at 8 a.m. That’s less than six hours of sleep and they had tons of energy!
I guess what they say is true as you get older your body begins to take a toll on you. The difference with little ones is there tendency to sleep during the day. A nap here and a nap there, so when you add up the hours, they’re getting between 10 to 12 hours a day. During the teenage years, that’s the time frame where the transition of sleep takes a tumble.
I recall my teenage years, quite vivid at the age of 16. I recall being involved in extracurricular activities, driver’s education, a full-load of classes and I had a part-time job. My day began at 6:15 a.m. and it ended at around 12 a.m. I was only getting about six hours of sleep a day, which bummed me out. The body wanted more rest, but with the loads of activities on my plate it seemed almost impossible. Nowadays, with a full-time job and housing responsibilities, I’m lucky if I get seven hours of sleep a day. Anything less than six, results in a cranky individual. I’m able to function, just not in the happiest mood the first few hours of the day.
We, as a society have to train ourselves that it’s ok, to cut out some things to ensure that our bodies receive the essential amount of sleep that is needed to re-energize the brains for the next day. Weekends are the only time that most of us are able to re-fuel our battery levels, but as someone once told me, “You can never make up for lost sleep. It's gone, you have to move on.” That may be true, but I will admit, anytime I can get a few extra zzzzzz’s I am grateful. I’ve realized why my parents were keen.
Remember the body needs sleep to function, without it there are detrimental effects on the individual. Not only is it important to take care of our bodies through exercise, but so is sleep. Sleep is indeed a necessity, its time that we start to acknowledge it.
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