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What Happens When We Sleep

Sleepy Kitty

Everything that is alive needs sleep! Most kids need between 10 to 11 hours of sleep every night; but everybody (and every BODY) is different! Sometimes kids don't want to stop playing and go to sleep. It can help to know what happens when we sleep, both in the brain and the body.

Sleep Helps You Grow

1. Sleep is when you grow! That's right - when you give your brain a break from doing things all day, it can focus its energy on helping you grow.

2. Sleep helps you to not get sick. Getting enough sleep builds something called your 'immune system' which helps you fight off viruses like the cold. Sleep also helps you to get better faster if you are sick.

3. While we sleep, our brain organizes and stores information, which helps us learn new things.

Sleep Helps You Focus

So what does all this have to do with emotions? Not having enough sleep can cause your plane to crash fast. It makes people irritable, cranky, more quickly mad, and sad. You might have more fights with your friends and family. Not getting enough sleep also makes it hard to stay focused. It might be hard to learn something new, or pay attention to directions.

Bedtime Routine

1. Think about your bedtime. What are all the things you do to get ready for bed? What is your bedtime routine? Does it include a shower? A story or reading time? Some family time? Brushing your teeth? Do you stop eating for awhile before bed? Do you make sure to put away all screens and devices for at least an hour before sleeping?


2. Write down your sleep routine in your SEL journal. Having a good sleep routine helps our brain know to send all the right relaxation signals to our body to get sleepy.

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