Bleary eyed, you reach to turn off the alarm clock…when you realize something truly awful.
Wake up! It’s time for school!”
Everybody loves summertime late nights.
Then suddenly… this free and relaxed schedule comes crashing to an end.
Sure, many parents can’t wait for the kids to go back to school.
Yet the big change often brings stress and anxiety for the whole family.
Well, you could try gradually adjusting your body clock (and theirs) to the new schedule.
Starting a few weeks ahead of time.
And actually, this is a great idea.
The thing is, some people can put these things on the calendar and make them happen.
And then there are the rest of us.
Habit researcher Steve Scott says we all know it’s important to exercise and eat healthy. We realize these things have a significant long-term impact on our life.
Yet we often put these important things on the back burner because they don’t seem urgent.
What’s urgent for many people?
Life is stressful. Stress leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm leads to seeking distraction.
No matter what your age.
Late night TV. Gaming until the wee hours of the morning.
Not getting enough sleep means memory and learning problems, hyperactivity, hormone changes that lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
So says Dr. Shelly Weiss, a neurologist at SickKids in Toronto who specializes in sleep disorders in young people.
Many teens sacrifice sleep at a critical time when growth accelerates through puberty and adolescence.
Teenagers are more likely to suffer athletic injuries if they sleep less than eight hours a night, experts add.
“Most parents and care providers don’t really know how much sleep children should be getting,” says UBC sleep specialist and nursing professor Wendy Hall.
Together with the The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, professor Hall suggests:
Many young people are in sleep debt because they go to bed on schedule Thursday through Sunday. Then they stay up late Friday and Saturday nights.
Why is it so hard to even want to be consistent?
Here are some clues.
More and more, young adults seek distraction.
What can help besides wrestling their smartphones away?
Young people need to know the absolute importance of setting phones to “Do Not Disturb” to keep pings and notifications from interrupting their sleep.
Limit device time at least an hour before sleep. Experts say the light from device displays can seriously interfere with sleep.
Limit caffeine, especially later in the day.
Set a get-ready-for-bed alarm.
Make time to relax and wind down.
How do you get everybody to relax?
Spend time with them. Talk to them. Read to them from a real paper and print book.
“As parents, we need to set good examples and be good role models,” said Elio Antunes, president and CEO of Participaction.
Set an appropriate bedtime for yourself. Then stick to it 7 days a week.
Perhaps the biggest help for you?
Massage is absolutely amazing for helping you get to sleep and sleep deeply.
Research from the Mayo Clinic and The University of Miami School of Medicine says massage improves circulation while reducing stress hormones and anxiety.
Why are the better sleep benefits of massage so long lasting?
Because a session from trained massage therapist actually teaches you how to relax.
Massage…it just may be the best thing you can do to get ready for back-to-school time.
Life takes it out of you. I’d love to help you put it back in.
How can I help you personally?
Call me at 303-920-2350 with any questions, concerns or to find out how massage and essential oils can make life better for you.
by Sarah Shropshire
LMT, Essential Oil and Business Consultant