“It might sound eccentric to suggest that the reason an animal is bad-tempered is because it is short of sleep but as sleeping is vital, deprivation will obviously do harm.” The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young
Often we try to figure out what may be causing a child to be cranky, irritable, or even struggle with learning. Sometimes the answer is simply a lack of sleep. The woman who wisely gave me the above book for my retirement knows that cows are pretty special. Or she at least knows that I think cows are pretty special so when I read the above line I was happily surprised. Surprised that this little gem of a book discusses the importance of sleep for cows. Well cows are mammals and humans are mammals so maybe the knowledge that calves and children both need sleep shouldn’t be a surprise. Gi, the woman who gave me the book, and I have talked about our kids need for sleep and how important it is to their ability to learn.
Did you know that toddlers need 11-14 hours of sleep every day!? Preschoolers need 10-13 hours. Elementary age children need 9-11 hours of sleep every single night and teenagers and adults need 8-10 hours of sleep a night.
A recent study from Harvard stated that sleep deprivation in young children is “tied to cognitive and behavioral problems”. Young children who experience sleep deprivation are also said to have more issues with “attention, emotional control, and peer relationships in mid-childhood”. Well doesn’t that sound like many of our kids!? Link for full article: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/03/study-flags-later-risks-for-sleep-deprived-kids/
Once again cows teach us something important; that the proper amount of sleep is vital for the health and well being of our children. So put the devises down, ban them from bedrooms (and dinner tables), and be sure the kids are getting enough sleep! Of course this goes along with our knowledge that healthy, locally grown, organic food is critical for the nutritional needs of all our children, even during school hours. And that play outside every single day is just as important to our children’s health, well being, and educational success.
So before summer ends go pet a cow, enjoy some local yogurt or cheese, and support a local organic dairy farmer near you!