Creative Child

Rhythms of Rest

(Rhythms Part 2)
by Rebecca Eanes

The second installment in the rhythms series is addressing rest. This series is all about intentionally creating the lives we desire by building in daily rhythms that meet the needs of our families and fill us with love, peace, and joy. Of course, one need we all have is rest, and unfortunately it seems harder and harder to come by for parents and children alike in our busy culture. Fortunately, we can create a family culture within the walls of our homes that do not mirror the outside culture, one that invites space to breathe and time to think – a culture that slows life down a bit and gives a chance to savor our relationships and our minutes.

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How can we build in times of rest when there is so much to do each day? It starts with a boundary. We must be clear about what we need and what we will allow. When you truly make rest a priority, you’ll make time for it because it’s important to you. Get clear about why you need rest, why your kids need rest, what value you’ll get from it, and then begin to make changes in your daily routine that allow for it.

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Physical rest is probably the first thing you thought of when you read the headline, and yes, physical rest is extremely important. It’s the cultural norm to be overworked, stressed out, busy, and sleep deprived. And yet we know that rest improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure and cortisol levels, decreased depression, and increases life span. We know that children who don’t get enough rest suffer from irritability, forgetfulness, anxiety, low motivation, and forgetfulness. Research shows that children who consistently get enough sleep can solve problems, learn new information better, concentrate longer, make better decisions, have more energy, and the list goes on. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the following guidelines:

  • Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12-16 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children 1-2 years of age should sleep 11-14 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children 3-5 years of age should sleep 10-13 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children 6-12 years of age should sleep 9-12 hours.
  • Teenagers 13-18 should sleep 8-10 hours.
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