Sleep, are you getting enough?

Learning about Sleep is the single biggest improvement I have made to my life over the last three or four years.

Sleep deprivation is against the Geneva convention in the treatment of prisoners of war, yet our younger children do it to us on a regular basis and we allow it to happen to our older children.


Nick Littlehales is the author of ‘Sleep’. Littlehales has worked with some of our top sports teams, including Manchester United and the Sky cycle team.

As I start to blog again, I would like to intersperse my personal contributions with some wisdom from a book that I read a few years back by Sue Palmer, an established journalist and commentator on twenty first century life. Palmer’s book makes the simple point that much of modern life is anti-family and works against the individual as well. Unless we discern, filter and make intentional life choices, modern life will inevitably wreck our families; arguably taking the worst toll on those least able to protect and decide positively for themselves, namely our children.

We see the effect of modern life on the children who walk through our doors each day and so by making these briefing sheets available to you as parents, I am hoping that we can benefit our children in small but significant ways. This advice is also hugely valid for us as teachers. Most of us live in families and have our own children to look after. To be at our best as professionals, this advice is applicable to us as well.

Sleep heals us on a nightly basis.

I understand that it is against the Geneva convention in the treatment of Prisoners of War that they be denied their sleep. Yet our young children do it to us for years and we, in turn, allow it to happen to ourselves and our older children on a regular basis through poor life choices. Apple employees are advised not to answer emails beyond a certain point in the day and not to take their devices to bed with them.

At this point I would recommend a book to complement the other resources on Sue Palmers information sheet. Sleep by Nick Littlehales is a great one-stop, manageable read for those who want to maximise the advantage of getting a good night’s sleep. As it begins to get dark, a chemical switch occurs in the brain which stops the production of serotonin a chemical which induces alertness and wakefulness, to be replaced by melatonin, a chemical which begins to prepare us for sleep. The blue light emitted from the screens of our devices tries to reverse the effects of the melatonin which is seeking to ready us for sleep.

There are many fascinating facts to discover and apply through Littlehales book. I came away from it marvelling that the fact that we spend a third of our lives asleep and that this is a good thing. Whatever our most trying day looks like, it only lasts for twenty four hours and it is punctuated before the next day by a sleep of eight or so hours. So much happens to heal us when we sleep that we should be valuing this simple biological provision for our well being much more than we do.

The steadfast love of the lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Detoxing Childhood 1 Sleep (1)

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