Marie-Sophie Vaucher Rais
Are your kids going to bed on time? Do they like to sleep by themselves or do they keep jumping to your bed? Do they make a scene when you ask them to nap? If yes, you are definitely not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children are getting less sleep than experts recommend, and more than two-thirds of children experience frequent sleep problems.
Of course, sleep deprivation has a high cost for kids. Arianna Huffington explains this very clearly in her new book, The Sleep Revolution, which I read cover to cover, and I am recommending to everyone I know. Arianna states, sleep disruptions are particularly dangerous for infants, toddlers, and children. The brains of young children go through a critical period of plasticity as they scramble to absorb as much information as possible and pick up a whole array of language, motor, visual, and cognitive skills. All of this is not possible without sufficient quality sleep.
Much has been written and scientifically proven about this relatively new science of sleep. As a parent, I think about the importance of sleep on daily basis. I am a young mother of three, and I know how much happier and active my children are when they get a good night sleep.
As a designer of sleepwear for children, I often talk to many parents about this issue, most of them, if not all, agree on one thing; keep technology devices including video games away from their bedrooms.
While writing this blog, I did my research and I found out, as Arianna did, the opinion of Dr. Raskesh Bhattacharjee, a pediatric sleep expert at the University of Chicago. He said “television, video games, smartphones, tablets have all recently been identified as agents that frequently disrupt a child’s sleep, including leading to total sleep deprivation,” which of course creates problems in school and in our daily family life.
I feel extremely lucky, my children slept well since they were babies. They sleep an average of nine hours a night. I enjoy putting them to bed, it’s a time of togetherness, and an intimacy that is difficult to explain but all parents know. I believe in creating habits. We usually tell stories to each other, read something together, say a small pray, and soon their voices quiet down as they drift off to sleep. After they fall asleep I and my husband have some precious time to ourselves.