Thinking about Sleep.

 “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” Irish Proverb

Around 350 B.C., Aristotle wrote an essay, “On Sleep and Sleeplessness,” wondering just what we were doing and why. For the next 2,300 years, no one had a good answer. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/08/science-of-sleep/ 

What we do know is that our body needs sleep to be healthy. Sleep is as necessary to our health as good nutrition and exercise.  We know that sleep impacts our emotional health and behaviour and can influence our choices.  As an educator, the topic of sleep has often been at the forefront. When my students (or my own kids) are NOT getting enough of it, learning is hampered. A good night’s sleep, on the other hand, can support learning, processing of information, decision making and problem-solving.

This is why I am often asking, “How are you? How was your sleep?”.  It is rather fun talking about dreams or sharing sleep strategies. One student shared a mindfulness technique that she uses to help her get between the first and second stage of sleep,

“I’m walking on a soft pine needle covered path in a brightly lit forest. I can sense the tingling feeling of the needless on the bottoms of my feet and through my toes.  I wiggle them. I feel the cool air on my skin. I stop and look up and see the sun beaming through the leaves and can hear the trees dancing, making that shhhhhhh…..sound  in the wind….I keep walking…

I do something similar and imagine myself running. I use run as a natural remedy for stress and anxiety, so this works well for me.

I lace up my shoes and step out in front of my house. I think of a familiar route and start slowly. I run to the end of the street and make a right. I notice the house on the corner is still for sale and the cat in the window. I cross the street and head down the zig-zag path toward the waterfront…

I usually drift off before I get to the second kilometre.

While not all used in the order you see them, these slides were a useful tool to engage students in the inquiry and discussion about sleep. Where did it lead?

    • Sleep and the impact on health
    • Sleep and our lifespan
    • How much sleep do we get in our lifetime?
    • What is Melatonin, and why do we need it?
    • What happens to us when we don’t sleep?
    • What factors contribute to a good night’s sleep?
    • Do income and demographics influence our sleep? Why?
    • How do poverty and hunger impact sleep?

Link to the SLIDE DECK: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nu4–f9GKM0LL6UrlCBLpTK7LScNtfic/copy

 

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