In This Newsletter:

Click here to get the audio version of this month's newsletter.

The Floppy Sleep
Game Book

A Complete Guide for Parents on children's Sleep and Relaxation

You can learn more about the book and order it via our website by clicking here.


August, 2008

Dear Friends,

As we move into autumn and the kids head back to school, I'd like to once again hop on my bandwagon and remind you how important it is to get enough sleep. Sleep deprived children will be less capable of handling life's ups and downs and will be at a distinct disadvantaqe at school. Please consider this newsletter a gentle reminder to make sleep a priority in your own lives and in your children's lives.

Sweet Dreams,


Willy Monster is Coming Soon!
An exciting and humorous children's bedtime story about a good monster named Willy. Willy Monster takes a little boy named Stephen to Boogey Land, so that he can confront the monster that has been bothering him. As so often happens when we face our fears, Stephen finds that the Boogey Monster isn't as scary as he'd imagined....
(For ages five and up)

School Preparation Includes a Good Night's Sleep

It’s back to school time and as usual, parents will be helping their kids prepare by shopping for new clothes and school supplies.  But there are other preparations that are much more important.  By improving our children’s sleep hygiene and by teaching them to relax themselves to sleep, we increase their chances of being happy, healthy, and successful students. 

Sleep affects our children’s mood, health, and ability to learn. When Tel Aviv University administered tests to fourth and sixth graders, they found that by adding just one hour of sleep, children’s attention span and memory improved dramatically, often by several grade levels.  A good night’s sleep benefits logical reasoning skills and helps children to organize their brains, process information, and remain alert in class the next day.  While a child sleeps, his or her brain is processing new information.  When a child is taught something new, but then doesn’t sleep long enough or deeply enough for the information to move from temporary to long-term memory, it can be lost forever. 

Children who are sleep deprived are frequently inattentive and spacey, have trouble concentrating, and run the risk of being mislabeled as ADHD.  A Brown University study suggests “sleep deprivation in normal children can lead to symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”  Researchers found that several days of sleep deprivation resulted in the development of ADHD symptoms, and that children’s hyperactivity levels escalated with each additional night of poor sleep.  Other studies report that even when children have been diagnosed correctly, their ADHD symptoms are likely to improve when they get more sleep. 

Children’s sleep problems are often compounded when school starts because they have gotten used to staying up late and sleeping in during the long summer break.  If this problem isn't corrected before school starts, children are likely to struggle as they adjust to an earlier schedule. The following tips will help reset children’s internal clock before school begins—so they can get off to a good start. 

Before school starts:

  • Move bedtime up by 15 –30 minutes one week before school starts.

  • Consistently wake kids up earlier during the week before school starts.

  • Motivate children to get out of bed by creating fun reasons for them to get going. For example, plan an early morning treasure hunt, a picnic breakfast at the park or a back to school breakfast with friends.

  • Be sure your child spends time outside in the morning; early morning sunshine helps to reset the internal clock.

During the school year:

  • Have a set bedtime. Children should consistently go to bed at the same time every night. Even on the weekends, it should not vary by more than one hour a night or a total of two hours for the entire weekend. If it does, you're setting your child up for a kind of jet lag when Monday morning rolls around.

  • Warn children five to ten minutes before they need to get ready for bed so they can wrap up what they're doing.

  • Have quiet activities before bed. (Limit television, video games and computer time.)

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon and evening.

  • Have a consistent bedtime routine. Create a consistent bedtime ritual—in a predictable calming environment that serves as a bridge between the excitement of daytime and the restful quiet of nighttime.

  • Practice relaxation techniques. During the bedtime routine, take a few minutes to practice self-soothing relaxation techniques such as progressive relaxation, attending to the breath, and visualization.

Click here to hear the audio version of this month's newsletter
which also includes a story about a sleep deprived boy whose behavior
dramatically improves when his sleep habits are addressed.

© 2008 Patti Teel, All Rights Reserved