*Encouragement is the best medicine to give someone. If I were to pick any gift to have in helping others, that would be the one*

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Way to Prevent Meltdowns

I was visiting a friend's blog (pay a visit if you like!) and reading about the importance of sleep.  I'm surprised I've touched so little on this topic.  Especially since this is a huge issue with Chaz.  I have talked about how hard it is for him to sleep and some solutions.

How much do kids need to sleep?

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends school-age children get 10-11 hours of sleep each night and that kids ages 5 to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. The quality of sleep is as important as the quantity, playing its essential role in nervous system development.  Each child is unique and individual variation occurs. When I was teaching, I always felt sorry for the students who seemed too tired at school because they were less mentally alert, more inattentive, unable to concentrate,  easily distracted and often the ones with a short temper getting them into trouble with peers.
Children should have a sufficient amount and quality of sleep to grow, develop, and function well.  With our busy lives and, in many cases two working parents, naps are missed, bedtimes are late, mornings start earlier and nights are hectic with getting everything done to start the next day. Naps play a large role in the healthy sleep of children and should be planned for each day. You may also be surprised to find that a well-rested child is easier to put to bed.
Need more convincing? A study group found that children with higher IQs — in every age group studied — slept longer. 

Of course this is important for any kid and that's why we have them in bed by 8:30pm every night.  I wasn't raised that way because my parents were very involved in ministries at church.  We were late nighters and I got used to it but I do remember many times having a hard time concentrating in school because I was so tired.  I was also extremely hyperactive and  most teachers groaned when they found out I was on their classroom list each year.  I still have a hard time sitting down for long.  :)  It benefits me now though because I need that energy.  But I also make sure I get 8-9 hours of sleep every night.

Imagine for a kid how much more sleep is important.  I do notice there are a lot less meltdowns.  Just because Chaz is 10 years old doesn't mean he doesn't have meltdowns anymore.  He very  much does and is emotionally immature compared to his classmates.  He's even 1 year older than all of them since I held him back a year.  

I've said before in previous posts that Chaz has a hard time falling asleep and is known to lie away for over an hour.  A musician came to the rescue and offered to send me a relaxing CD that he had put together.  He has great reviews from other parents of Aspergers kids as well.  Since having this cd, the time it takes for him to fall asleep is getting shorter.

By the way, I've had to borrow it a few times as well because the music is just so relaxing and beautiful to play in the house.

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