web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Dear Rachel,
Since you helped me in the past with a really serious issue, I was hoping you’d have good advice for me again. This time the problem involves one of our children, and it’s become an exasperating and somewhat worrying situation. Let me explain.

Our only daughter is ten years old, quite mature for her age (actually a real mother’s helper), is a good and conscientious student, sensitive and affectionate, and suffers from – of all things – insomnia! No matter when she goes to sleep or how tired she is, she either lies awake for hours or falls asleep briefly and then wakes up and is unable to fall back asleep for a good while.

This is taking a toll on her affable personality and I fear her studies will suffer as well. For a short period of time I gave her melatonin supplements that seemed to help, but I wasn’t comfortable with the concept (although I know many parents who resort to this method of getting their children to sleep).

Any advice you have for us will be welcome and appreciated.

Restless over our daughter’s restlessness

Dear Restless,
Your brief letter is missing many details. For starters, you indicate that your daughter helps out with the care of a younger sibling (or more than one). Could she possibly be feeling overwhelmed by playing mommy, especially on school nights when presumably she has studying assignments to complete?

As a “conscientious” student, can she be feeling pressured to keep her grades up in order to maintain your admiration and approval?

Other considerations to take into account: Food intake right before bedtime can cause sleeplessness — especially the sugary and fatty kind that stimulate the mind or can create enough physical discomfort to keep a child – or adult – from being able to fall asleep.

Does your daughter sleep in a room by herself in a calm atmosphere, or does she share? Is there light in the room or filtering in from the outside? Exposure to light prohibits the circulation of melatonin (the hormone that promotes sleep), while darkness makes it kick in naturally.

Is your daughter privy to adult conversation in the home that involve troublesome events or is revealing of your own worries about private or world affairs — the kind that could keep her from getting a peaceful night’s sleep?

Generally speaking, we are a sorely sleep-deprived people who tend to feel we are missing out while we snooze. In actuality, the opposite is true; our quality of life is directly affected by the quantity (and quality) of our sleep.

The National Institute of Health considers our average less-than-7-hours as chronically insufficient and cites a requirement of 7-1/2 to 9 hours of sleep a night for an adult to function at a maximum level. (Children require more.)

No, it’s not normal to be feeling drowsy while driving in heavy traffic, or to feel like your eyelids are glued shut upon being wakened by an alarm clock. In fact, the inability to awaken without the ringing of an alarm is an indication of a lack of sleep.

The ramifications of sleep deprivation, aside from midday exhaustion, range from moodiness and irritability to reduced immunity (leading to frequent colds and infections), while the benefits of adequate sleep are immeasurable. As we sleep, our body and brain get an overhaul and all of our cells are rejuvenated. Small wonder that sleep is said to be as nourishing to a healthy mind and body as food.

Dr. Mehmet Oz correlates inadequate sleep (6 hours or less per night) with serious health issues, among them obesity, cancer and heart disease. But don’t we all know someone who seems to function fine on little sleep? Researchers at the University of California have discovered that a rare gene, appearing in less than 3% of the population, enables one to do well on six or fewer hours of sleep. (That leaves 97% of us in desperate need of more shuteye.)

The reader who is skeptical of “modern-day” studies cited by researchers, doctors and health institutes would do well to note the Rambam’s prescription (from over 800 years ago) of eight hours of sleep a night for overall health.

Our average sleep needs according to age (courtesy of the National Sleep Foundation): Newborns (0-2 months) – 12-18 hours; infants (3 months to 1 year) – 14-15 hours; toddlers (1 to 3 years) – 12-14 hours; preschoolers (3 to 5 years) – 11–13 hours; school-aged children (5-12 years) – 10-11 hours; teens and preteens (12 to 18 years) – 8.5-10 hours; adults (18+) – 7.5-9 hours.

In the absence of underlying health issues (ruled out by her pediatrician), you may want to consider having your daughter visit a youth counselor/therapist to try to get at the root of what is causing her restless nights.

The option for a sleep aid in the form of melatonin in a pill is available as a quick fix — but should be discussed beforehand with a qualified physician.

Personally, I would opt for a warm cup of milk before resorting to a pill habit. Adapting a routine of reciting krias shema and placing negel vasser (hand washing cup and basin) by her bed for her convenience upon arising in the morning (a segulah for promoting good sleep) should have your daughter enjoying a restful night’s sleep in no time.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Confidential to James P. (Yaakov): Appreciate your thoughtfulness in updating me. I am delighted that Rabbi Herman has been in touch and been able to be of help. May Hashem hearken to your prayers and continue to be at your side in your time of need.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hezbollah  terror group shows off its arsenal.
Report: US Sending Indirect Military Aid to Hezbollah
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-135/2012/05/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: