NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Catching Your ZZZs

The four generations of people in my family span from my infant grandson at age four months, to my parents who are in their early 80’s. A good night’s sleep feels great and is important for people no matter what their age.

Sleep contributes to overall well-being and is essential to good health. From your own personal experience, have you discovered that the benefits you experience after a good night’s sleep are very similar to those identified for young children? A good night’s sleep allows children to wake up feeling physically and mentally refreshed. Consistent, quality sleep helps them stay alert and focused during the day. It can increase their ability to concentrate, to remember what they learn, to solve problems, to enjoy normal physical activity, and to have positive social experiences. Not getting enough sleep and not being well rested, they are more likely to be moody, irritable, easily frustrated, and act more angry or sad in social interactions.

Bedtime struggles between parents and their young children are fairly common. Also fairly common is the culture of late-nights among college-age young adults. Individual sleep needs do vary, but there are known averages or “ball park” amounts of sleep that are recommended. What helps is to know what those averages or “ball park” amounts are, and what things help promote falling asleep and getting good quality sleep.

Two resources of reliable information on these topics are “How to Establish Good Sleep Habits for Your Children,” from NDSU Extension Service (http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/burleighcountyextension/home-and-family/kids-family/how-to-establish-good-sleep-habits-for-your-children), and “Lack of Sleep Affects College Students’ Performance: Grades, Athletics Suffer from Too Many All-Nighters” from the University of Wisconsin Extension (http://www.uwex.edu/ces/news/cenews.cfm?ID=3307 ). If you do not have access to these online resources, call the Sargent County Extension Office to request a copy.

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