Due to the cold Winter weather, many people opt to stay indoors, increasing their exposure to a slew of viruses. Sometimes it simply can't be avoided, but if we take care of our immune systems and stay conscious of our bodies, we can keep our selves and our children healthy.
One of the most essential ways to ensure a healthier, more vibrant self?
The quality and quantity of sleep you get each night.
This goes for both adults and children.
Studies show that if we don't get restful sleep every night, we're more susceptible to getting sick. Not only is our immune system impacted by lack of sleep, but so is our nervous system, our memory, our concentration, our mood, and our ability to reason and make decisions.
For adults, seven and a half hours of sleep a night will do the trick. For children, it all depends on their age. For instance, the National Sleep Foundation recommends toddlers, 1 to 2 years of age, get 11 - 14 hours of sleep; pre-schoolers, 3 to 5 years of age, should get 10 to 13 hours; and children, 6 to 13 years of age, need 9 - 11 hours of sleep.
Where you put those hours also makes a huge difference.
Deep, restorative sleep happens between 10pm and 2am. During this time, the body gets a chance to reset, heal, and fully relax. This is your body's chance to work to remove any free radicals that have been created by stress. After 2am, sleep becomes superficial and loses its restorative quality. So if you're going to bed around 2am, you're missing out on the benefits of deep sleep. Even if you went to bed at 2am and woke up at 10am, getting a full 8 hours of sleep in the process, you will still feel the fatigue. You might even feel as if you had only slept a few hours.
So make sure to get yourself and the kids to bed early each night. Not only does the smoothness of your day depend upon it, but so does your health.