Sleep Matters

first_imgBetween after-school activities, homework and other obligations, kids have a lot of competition for the time they should devote to sleep.Many kids — and adults, for that matter — don’t get enough sleep. On average, high school students need between seven and 11 hours of sleep. For younger kids, even more time is needed: 12 hours for school-age kids, 13 hours for preschoolers and close to 14 hours for toddlers.Signs and symptoms of sleep deprivationThere are several symptoms that can clue parents into whether their child is getting enough sleep.“Irritability, being hard to wake up in the morning, complaining about being tired, falling asleep in the middle of things and lack of concentration are all symptoms of sleep deprivation,” said Associate Professor Diane Bales, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension human development specialist. “Even excessive energy can be a mechanism that kids use to keep themselves awake.”There may be long-term physical effects of lack of sleep, such as obesity in adults.”Although research about sleep deprivation and obesity risk has not been done in children, it would make sense that the research would apply to children as well,” Bales said.Causes of sleep deprivationThere are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep. The one usually cited is that they’re too busy.“Lots of kids of many different ages do a lot of things,” Bales said. “But a lot of people don’t understand the importance of sleep, and how damaging it is to not get enough sleep, so they don’t prioritize it.”Technology also plays a growing role in keeping kids up too late, she added.                                                                                                                                     Light from cellphones and other electronic devices can make falling asleep difficult. Things seen or read online can create overstimulation.It’s easy for kids and adults to get drawn into games, conversations and other sources of online engagement before bed. That time online can eat into sleep time and make it harder for adults and children to fall asleep after they turn off their devices.Even without electronic interference, sometimes it’s simply hard to wind down after sports practice or hours spent on homework, even if enough time is allotted for sleep.Sleep solutionsBuilding schedules and routines is key to making sure kids get enough sleep. Parents should establish this is by counting back from the time the kids need to leave for school.“If the child needs 10 hours of sleep, you have to back up 10 hours from that wake-up time, and the child needs to be in bed by then,” Bales said.The other piece of the bedtime puzzle involves setting up routines that help kids relax.“It’s key to plan out when they need to have a bath, when to turn off electronics and what routine is going to help the child wind down,” she said.Building a bedtime routine will also help kids ease back into school.“Parents need to start early in the summer,” Bales said. “A lot of times, kids get off their normal sleep schedule during summer break. Parents shouldn’t wait until school starts to make that adjustment back to the school year bedtime routine.”Bales suggests backing up the bedtime by 15 minutes every few days for a few weeks.When parents create a bedtime routine, they should think back to advice from their parents and grandparents.“It’s about turning down the lights, reading a book, taking a warm bath and having some kind of a ritual that’s part of bedtime,” she said.last_img read more

Victory not enough for Reds

first_img But Liverpool were five points clear with three games left, and that will statistic will stick in Rodgers’ mind for quite some time. A group of Manchester United fans clubbed together to remind Liverpool’s captain about his lack of Premier League silverware. ‘United 20 Gerrard 0’ read the banner which trailed behind a light aircraft which flew over Anfield at kick-off. Gerrard tried to grab the game by the scruff of the neck after the first whistle. The rest of his team-mates froze though, seemingly paralysed by the pressure of knowing this could be the day they won their first title since 1990. Liverpool could not string five passes together, their tempo was slow and their movement poor. Newcastle made it clear they were here to spoil the party. Moussa Sissoko found Ameobi in the box after seven minutes, but the striker made a real hash of his header. Rodgers was up in arms moments later when Sterling went down under pressure from Mathieu Debuchy, but referee Phil Dowd waved play on. The Liverpool manager wheeled away in celebration three minutes later when Suarez lobbed Tim Krul from the right touchline, but Dowd ruled the Uruguayan had taken the quick free-kick when the ball was still rolling. Liverpool’s growing confidence was punctured by Skrtel. The Slovakian stuck out his right leg trying to prevent Yoan Gouffran’s cross finding Ameobi. The ball flew off Skrtel’s right shin and beyond Simon Mignolet. He could not have finished it better if he had tried. Suarez, Gerrard and Sterling all failed with simple passes and the pessimism inside Anfield grew. The ambience inside Liverpool would have been far worse had Mignolet not saved expertly from Gouffran, who was one-on-one with the Liverpool stopper. The news of City’s 39th minute opener filtered through to the home supporters – some of whom had radios pressed to their ears. Sturridge headed well wide from five yards to deepen their misery. Rodgers brought Aly Cissokho on for Jon Flanagan at half-time and Liverpool improved, with Sterling testing Krul with a low drive. But with City now 2-0 up, it no longer mattered what happened at Anfield. That did not stop Liverpool fighting, though. Agger gained half a yard on Debuchy and diverted the ball past Krul from Gerrard’s free-kick to equalise. Anfield finally came to life as the home support urged their team to find a second. Less than two minutes after Agger’s goal, Sturridge made it 2-1 from almost exactly the same position as the centre-back. Cheick Tiote fouled substitute Philippe Coutinho 25 yards out. Gerrard whipped the ball to the back post again and Sturridge tapped his 21st Premier League goal of the season in from two yards. Ameobi did his team no favours by getting sent off straight after the goal when he argued with Dowd in the centre circle as he was about to restart the game. The referee showed Ameobi a yellow card and when the striker continued his protests, he sent him off. Agger missed an easy header from five yards with 10 minutes left before Dummett saw red three minutes from the end for kicking Suarez. Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge scored within two minutes of each other to give Liverpool a 2-1 win over Newcastle, who had gone ahead through Martin Skrtel’s fourth own goal of the season. But the celebrations at Anfield were kept to a minimum as Manchester City beat West Ham 2-0 to win the Barclays Premier League. Liverpool rounded off their season with a narrow victory over nine-man Newcastle, but it was not enough to end the Anfield side’s 24-year wait for the title. Press Association In the first half Liverpool were well below their best. Newcastle, who had Paul Dummett and Shola Ameobi dismissed, could have been 3-0 up at the break. But after the restart, Liverpool displayed glimpses of the kind of swashbuckling play that Reds fans and neutrals alike have enjoyed all year. The Liverpool fans hailed Rodgers at the final whistle, and they had every reason to. After all he is responsible for taking the club from seventh to second within a year. He is the man who has turned Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Sturridge from average players with potential to top-class performers an d he has managed to get the best out of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. But a little part of the Liverpool manager must have been thinking ‘What if’ as he stood on the touchline at the final whistle. What if Steven Gerrard had not slipped here two weeks ago, handing Chelsea their crucial win at Anfield? What if his team had not conceded three goals in nine minutes at Crystal Palace last week? Liverpool have taken huge strides under Rodgers – this is only their second top-two finish in 11 years, and there will be Champions League football at Anfield next season. last_img read more