Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Past Your Bedtime

"Around the world, children get an hour less sleep than they did thirty years ago.  The cost: IQ points, emotional well-being, ADHD, and obesity."  -- Nurture Shock : New thinking about children

This book just might blow your mind.  It uses clinical research and neuroscience to re-think the way we raise and educate our children.  The writing style is uncomplicated, readable and filled with humorous anecdotes.  In the second chapter, The Lost Hour,  authors Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman discuss the importance of sleep in children.  During sleep we move experiences and information learned throughout the day to a more permanent storage area in our brains.  This special type of sleep is called slow-wave sleep and is particularly crucial for long-term learning and retention of things like vocabulary. 

According to the authors, "Kid's sleep is qualitatively different than grownups' sleep because children spend more than 40 % of thier asleep time in the slow-wave stage (which is ten times the proportion that older adults spend)."  Between school and all of the extra-curricular things that even very young children are involved in, they are in desperate need of a little shut eye!  So, set a bedtime and stick to it, your child's brain development (and your sanity) depend on it.

All this talk of sleep has made me want to do just that. I think I'll catch up on some slow-wave sleep under my desk.  I've learned a lot today that I really want to remember tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this book, and particularly this chapter. As a librarian involved in youth services and as a parent of young children, I was doubly blown away by what I learned from "NurtureShock". It will be a real challenge to get my night-owl children (and their overly-busy-at-bedtime parents) used to a more adequately EARLY bedtime, but it will be crazily Worth It.