Sleep: It Does A Family Good -- How Busy Families Can Overcome Sleep Deprivation

by Dr. Archibald D. Hart

This book addresses the approved Continuing Education topic area of "Human Growth and Development," particularly, "
the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels."

Counselors will become equipped to help their clients:

1. Learn the latest research conducted by The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), including the incidence of sleep deprivation and its many negative consequences.

2. Know the signs of a well-rested body, including falling asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed, waking up at the same time every morning feeling refreshed and alert, and not feeling sleepy during the day.

3. Know the five stages of sleep and why each is important.

4. Know how to restore one's circadian rhythm in order to obtain the desired 8 hours of sleep each night:
(1) Go to bed at the same time every night.
(2) Get out of bed at the same time every morning.
(3) Expose yourself to lots of daylight as soon as possible.
(4) Darken your home environment 1 hour before bedtime.
(5) If you have to stay up late one night, go to bed earlier the next night (to still obtain same hours of sleep for the week).
(6) If you know you will be sleep deprived because of upcoming traveling, get extra sleep ahead of time.

5. Know about the science of dreams, such as it is quite normal not to remember most of our dreams, how we usually dream about things we fear or desire, most dreams are natural and have no hidden messages, but are simply reminders of things that happened to us in the past  and that we fear could happen again, and the real importance of dreams is that they help us to consolidate and remember what we have recently learned.

6. Know the causes of sleep deprivation, including stress, anxiety and worry, caffeine, depression, sleep apnea (not breathing), restless leg syndrome, hypersomnia, sleepwalking, and nightmares.

7. Know how to promote 8 to 9 hours of restful sleep for children, including limiting television, computer, music, video games, and cell phone usage; avoiding caffeine and bedtime snacks; and maintaining a darkened bedroom.

8. Know how to promote good sleep for the sake of one's marriage, including not arguing in the bedroom, postponing serious discussions until the next day, and learning how to argue respectfully.

9. Know the cautions of using sleep medications.

10. Create a healthy sleep environment, including reducing noise, investing in a good mattress, controlling your room temperature, stopping intrusive thoughts, increasing melatonin through darkness, and overcoming anxiety.

11. Know the spiritual benefits of good sleep, including fostering gratefulness for God's daily blessings, turning one's problems over to God each night, and forgiving whatever offenses occurred to you each day.