Good Night, Sleep Tight

Today’s blog post is submitted by our summer contributor, Nicole Kalita.  

Tonight was one of those fun summer nights.  You know the kind.  The neighbor kid is over playing with your kids in the backyard and everyone is squealing from all the fun.  I was able to get the kitchen picked up and relax a little myself.  Then I looked at the clock and thought, “Wow!  Where did the time go?!”  It’s a quarter to 8:00 and my boys, ages 5 & 3, usually have a bedtime of 8:00.  It’s important in my family to keep my kids on their regular routine, even during summer vacation.  I sent the neighbor kid home and of course my boys whined because their fun has ended for the day.  But let me explain why I am so adamant on keeping with their bedtime schedule…

Children, as with most people, are more fun to be around if they get enough sleep.  Children will be in a better mood with enough sleep – they will have fewer tantrums, and be more sociable.  Think about yourself.  When you have a late night and don’t get enough sleep, how do you handle the next day?  Personally, I am much nicer person and a better mom when I am fully rested and ready for the day.  Is it any surprise that our children’s mood is related to the amount of sleep they get?

Sleep helps with all areas of development – brain development specifically.  It is just as important as nutrition and exercise.  Children who get enough sleep have longer attention spans during the day, whereas children who are overtired and lacking sleep often show signs of hyperactivity.   All of this affects how our children learn.

To learn more about why sleep is important for our little ones and see how many hours of sleep your child needs, visit this link from Oregon State Extension.

I wonder what adventures we will have tomorrow… Goodnight!

Nicole Kalita is a mother of two young boys. She has a degree in Human Development and Family Sciences and has been working with families for 11 years. Currently she teaches the Live & Learn With Your Baby and Live & Learn With Your Toddler & Two Year Old in Albany, Oregon through Linn-Benton Community College.