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Sleep from A to ZZZ

Students learn value of a good night’s sleep, the snuggly way

Benefits of Sleep

  • helps children grow, build muscle mass, and repair tissues and cells
  • increases production of hormones that fight infection and those that affect the way the body uses energy
  • allows children to think clearly, react quickly, create memories, and regulate emotions

Effects of Inadequate Sleep

  • affects children’s ability to focus and solve problems creatively
  • is associated with lower scores in phonological awareness, literacy, and math
  • makes children irritable and is linked to poor behavior and trouble with relationships
  • associated with higher risk of anxiety, depression, and aggressive behavior
  • can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular consequences

Source:  Sweetdreamzzz

It’s hard to focus on school f you haven’t had your z’s, sleep educators from the Farmington Hills-based nonprofit organization Sweet Dreamzzz recently told Townline Elementary students.

Sleep helps you learn, grow and be healthy, they told pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students. So, it’s important to follow a relaxing bedtime routine.

Townline staff members raised money to host the program, which aims to improve the health, well-being, and academic performance of economically disadvantaged children by providing sleep education and bedtime essentials. Townline Elementary has a high percentage of students from low-income families.

“Sleep is important for kids physically and socially emotionally,” said Principal Michelle Downs. “We really felt like it was something that isn’t talked about a lot and isn’t explicitly taught.”

First-grader Issabelle Saldivar chose a panda pattern

“Sleep is one thing we know, regardless of income, everyone can attain — and it’s free,” added Ann Raftery, director of sleep programs for Sweet Dreamzzz. “We teach ‘that’s when your body and brain grow.’”

Each student received a large fleece blanket, made by students at Divine Child High School in Dearborn, and a toothbrush and toothpaste kit.

Third-grader Syreeion Tyler snuggled his new bright yellow blanket. He said he planned to get to bed on time, read a book and relax. “If you get enough sleep when you go to bed you won’t be tired,” he said. “I’m putting it on my bed.”

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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