Dear Friends, Parents and Educators,
Simply put, sufficient sleep is a win-win proposition. Sleep helps everyone think better, learn better, focus better—and just plain do better. Yet many adults fail to understand the importance of sleep health and wellness, let alone effectively communicate that message to children.
Most of us don’t fully understand sleep and the many ways it affects the quality of our lives. Our need for sleep is as basic as our need for food and water, and it must be considered as such if we are to lead healthy lives. Sleep, diet and exercise form the very foundation of health and well-being.
Meeting daily sleep requirements maximizes thinking, learning, memory, productivity, mood, decision-making, behavior, focus, judgment and safety for adults and children alike. It is imperative that children understand the importance of sufficient sleep if they are to reach their full potential. If we can help children understand why we all need sleep, as well as the importance and benefits of sufficient sleep, bedtime can easily become a positive, relaxing, peaceful and reflective time of day.
It is critical that we view sleep with positivity and respect. We urge adults to never use sleep or an early bedtime as a punishment or negative consequence for a child of any age. When everyone’s knowledge and awareness about sleep is increased, sufficient sleep becomes a personal value as well as a family, community, and societal value.
As sleep educators and clinicians, we believe it is never too early to start the dialogue about sleep. Sleep research has demonstrated that getting sufficient, quality sleep is vitally important, especially for children. Therefore, it is essential to instill good sleep habits in our children to achieve the maximum benefits that healthy sleep provides, as well as to lay the foundation for a healthier and happier adulthood and enhanced quality of life.
Demonstrating that sleep is for winners and providing an overview of the daytime benefits of nighttime sleep are our goals for this book. In the first of the Snoozby Sleep series, we provide the basic tenets of the benefits of quality sleep—based on current sleep-medicine research—in an easy-to-read format. Children’s fundamental awareness and understanding of the value of sleep will lead to improved attitudes and responses from both children and parents to bedtime, to falling asleep, and to waking up during the night.
We encourage parents and educators to discuss sleep early and often with children in an effort to reinforce the vital importance of sleep. It is our hope that this series will encourage all readers to not only obtain sufficient sleep, but to make sleep health a priority. Let’s work together to enhance the value of sleep in our families and communities. If we can do this, we will all enjoy healthier, happier, more productive and safer lives.
Terry Cralle, RN, MS W.
David Brown, PhD, DABSM, CBSM