The importance of sleep — and an upcoming event!

When we think about improving our health, often the first two things people think about are what we eat and how much we move. After all, eating healthier and increasing physical activity can help you lose weight, gain muscle, and even boost your immune system. But there’s a third factor that is equally important and often does not receive as much attention, and that’s sleep.

Sleep is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. Getting “sufficient” sleep is important for both physical AND mental health—it can benefit your heart, brain, weight, and more! And by sufficient, we don’t just mean getting enough sleep—the quality and timing of sleep are important too! After a long day, your body and brain need time to rest and recover—and prepare for the next day.

Unfortunately, most Americans are not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep every day. When’s the last time you noticed yourself or a friend nod off during work or have trouble focusing during the day? Lack of sleep can also have long-term effects on your health and increase the risk of developing certain chronic conditions like diabetes or obesity. In fact, lack of sleep has become such a common problem that many leading health organizations consider it a public health problem.

For children, sleep is even more important. Getting good, sound sleep is crucial for proper mental and physical development—kids learn better, grow stronger, and are more active after they get a good night’s rest. But getting your kids to sleep at night can be tough. And even if you can get them to bed, that doesn’t mean they will sleep soundly through the night.

If you’d just like to help your kids sleep better, you’re in luck! Boston Children’s Hospital is hosting a sleep workshop this upcoming Wednesday, March 30th from 6:00-8:00pm at the NEW Fenway Community Center. Join us to get tips and find out how to help your family sleep better.

When: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Where: The NEW Fenway Community Center
Address: 1282 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

A light dinner will be provided!

For more information, call Deb Dickerson at 617-919-3077.

In the meantime, here are four quick tips to help your kids—and yourself—improve the quality of sleep:

  1. Keep your bedroom cool and dark
  2. Maintain a regular bedtime and wake time
  3. Put away electronic devices while getting ready for bed
  4. Avoid caffeine after noon and large late-night meals

(Photo courtesy of The Motherhood Inc.)

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