Sleep from A to ZZZ

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

Third-grader Syreeion Tyler snuggles his new blanket
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 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 and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

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