SO, FOR ADVICE ABAOUT SLEEP. That’s easy: Do it. Sleep! Often. Sleep as long as you can, which I think is safe to say to most Americans. With our go-go-go lives, we are far more likely to suffer from lack of sleep than from getting too much. This is especially true for children. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), school-aged children (ages 5-10) need 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night. According to a 2004 NSF study, less than 40 percent actually get it.
That’s benefit number 14,227 of homeschooling, by the way: My children get all the sleep they need, and, I’m convinced, are highly productive because of it.
And how about you — the likely adult reading this? Well, the NSF says there’s no “magic” number of hours per night we adults need to sleep but that, in general, it should be somewhere between seven hours and nine hours. Do you get that much? Consistently? I try to.
Clearly, my work poses a challenge to that, but I have learned a few ways to help get by.
One, I’ve found there’s no substitute for sleep. Strong coffee can help me power through any given event — like driving home — but in the end, I have to sleep.
Two, your overall health and fitness quality make a huge difference. When I weigh less, am eating better and have been physically active, those sleepless nights are not nearly as difficult to tolerate as when I’m fat and sedentary.
Three, resting — with or without actual sleeping — is always useful. I tell my pregnant and post-partum clients this, for sure. Even if you don’t sleep, at least lay down for a bit. Women even fall asleep in labor — for two minutes at a time — and it does them wonders in the end.
Oh, excuse me.
This column might make you sleepy …
Goshen News columnist Stephanie Price is a wife, mother, teacher, childbirth educator, doula, midwife’s assistant and student nurse pursuing a minor in complementary health. Contact her at email@example.com, 269-641-7249 or on Facebook at the page “Whole Family Column by Steph Price.”