Counselor's Corner: Embracing Relationships and SLEEP Oct '19

Seisen News

Counselor's Corner: Embracing Relationships and SLEEP Oct '19
Veronica Ann Gomes

This post presents some work done by 1st and 2nd Grade girls within the PYP framework. It also highlights why adequate sleep is so very important to our overall well-being.

During the last two months I connected with the Grade 1 and 2 girls working on their Units of Inquiry of Who we are. I went into the classrooms and focused on Personal and Social aspects of the Unit.

The lines of Inquiry in Grade 1 were 'Ways to build good relationships' and in Grade 2 'Using self-awareness to set goals'. Specifically, in Grade 1, we looked at 'How to make friends' and in Grade 2, to 'Identify positive and negative thoughts in themselves'.


Since it was the start of Autumn, we used a tree where the leaves are changing colour and beginning to fall to display the girls' thoughts.  Each of the grade 1's wrote a word or two about what they need to do in order to make a friend. The grade 2 girls wrote a positive thought on a leaf, changing it from a previous negative thought that they might have had.


Some negative thoughts weighing down a child. As a class we discussed how we could change these thoughts to positive!

Finally, I would like to discuss the  IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP. The previous counselor, Tara Carnright, also posted about sleep in September of 2017 and I hope this re-posting serves to highlight the importance of sleep and that sleep is so vital to our well being. (I'd like to acknowledge her for some of the content borrowed from that post.) 

For a long time it was known that sleep was important but the reason we needed to sleep was unclear. The latest research  suggests that while we sleep, our brains are actually cleansing themselves (getting rid of brain "garbage"). This happens when cerebral fluid washes over the neurons refreshing them and making way for new neural pathways and connections. Sleep benefits all of us in many different ways and it is one of the most important ways to maintain our physical and emotional health and good cognition. Cognition can be described as involving conscious intellectual activity, such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering. 

Please watch this 15 minute YouTube Video by Matt Walker who is THE ground breaking researcher on sleep and why we need it.

 In today's world, after school activities and busy work schedules can really get in the way of a structured bedtime routine resulting in inadequate sleep. 

The National Seep Foundation highlights the hours that a child needs to sleep and what is to be expected, within their developmental range below:


  • Need to sleep between 11-13 hours per night 
  • Difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night and nightmares are common
  • Sleepwalking and night terrors peak during this developmental time
  • Should sleep in a room that is dark, quiet and TV free

*Consistently ensure your child has a bedtime routine that ends in the room where the child sleeps. This can include a warm bath, story, songs, etc. This should NOT include screen time. 

School Age Children

  • Require 9-11 hours of sleep per night
  • Are prone to sleep problems and disorders
  • Should also follow a regular and consistent routine
  • Should avoid caffeine (in general, but particularly 4+ hours before bedtime) 
  • May benefit from reading before bed, which can help promote sleepiness
  • Should NOT be going sleep with a TV, iPhone, or iPad in their room. Parents, please confiscate their mobile devices before bed. Yes, they won't like it, but they'll learn to accept it as long as the rule is enforced. 

*Some children may benefit from a nightlight, stuffed animals and other toys/objects that serve to comfort while sleeping. This is perfectly acceptable and age appropriate. 

In conclusion, if you have questions or concerns about your child's academic, emotional or social development  and therefore how to best support your child, please don't hesitate to contact me! I also assist families and parents too, please ask to schedule an appointment with me or send me an email.

My contact information is 

Veronica Gomes





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