Are you struggling with bedtime battles or night wakings? Or perhaps you’ve got an early riser who just won’t stay in bed past 5:30am?
We’ve been talking to Natalie Preston at Sleep Rocks and we now understand why it’s so important for adults, babies and children to get a full night’s sleep. But most importantly, we now know somebody who can help our clients achieve that holy grail of sleep.
This is what Natalie says about sleep…
Sleep is a biological necessity, like eating. Whilst it’s commonly known that healthy eating is an all-important building block of life, there’s still a little way to go before it’s commonly known that healthy sleep is also just as important to the development of a child and our ability to function as an adult.
A child’s need for sleep
All children, whether they’re 9 months or 3 years old, are little information sponges.
They spend their whole day learning about the world around them and their whole night processing and storing this information so that it can be recalled in relevant chunks when needed.
In fact, relative to their brain size and power, they’re learning far more complex concepts than a post grad scholar. They’re little Einsteins! They’re simultaneously learning a language, how to walk, the theory of cause and effect, the entire concept of social interaction, and how they can get you to do just about anything they want you to do! Without quality sleep they simply can’t process everything as quickly as they’re experiencing it.
In a study of 216 babies where researchers taught the babies how to remove a puppet’s mitten and find a hidden bell, infants who napped straight after the demonstration were better at recalling it 4 hours and again 24 hours later. This is just one of many studies that conclude that napping helps to consolidate memories. (For those of you that like to read detailed research articles, the link to the full study can be found at the bottom of this blog post.)
An adult’s need for sleep
I think we’ve all been sleep deprived at one time or other in our lives, whether that’s down to small people disturbing our sleep, stress, or simply partying too hard and too long. But those of you who have made it into work the next day will know that you’re perfectly capable of performing simple tasks like getting dressed and dealing with daily emails, but anything more complex is just too much to ask. Does this sound familiar?
There have been countless studies carried out on the effects of sleep deprivation on executive function and all have found that being sleep deprived, even through broken sleep rather than lack of total sleep, leads to severe impairment of our executive function. Executive function is a set of mental skills that help you to perform complex tasks such as managing time, switching focus, doing things based on experience and paying attention for prolonged periods. We need sleep in order to function at our personal best, and it’s ok to want to do this.
What’s more, executive function skills develop over the course of many years in a child, and researchers believe that chronic sleep disruption can affect the course of development of these self-management abilities. That’s why taking steps to ensure that our children have the skills to self settle and get a full night’s sleep is one of the key building blocks of life and a valuable skill to teach them.
And that’s just two of the reasons why Natalie believes Sleep really does Rock! Not to mention the impact of sleep deprivation on maternal mental health, on the immune system of both the child and the sleep deprived adults, and in severe cases on the physical growth of the child.
Help is at hand
If you’re struggling with your little one’s sleep and think a tailored sleep plan and personalised support package with Natalie at Sleep Rocks might just be the answer, then get in contact with Natalie by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.