Kids today are getting less sleep, but one simple thing might help.

Do you remember the last time you dragged yourself into work after a night of tossing and turning?

Maybe you hit snooze on your alarm a few times, then you begrudgingly rolled out of bed and chugged your first cup of coffee that day, knowing full well that cup would not be your last. Maybe you even contemplated calling in sick. And once you got to work, maybe you snapped at a coworker, struggled to remember where you left something, or even started to nod off at an inconvenient moment on those long, horrible days.

Now imagine that you’re 7 years old, and you’re having one of those kinds of days.


You didn’t sleep enough the night before — maybe you share a room with a noisy sibling, you have sleep apnea, or you have a parent who comes home from work late — but you still have to survive the school day. And one night of poor sleep is bad enough, but what if this becomes the norm?

Photo by Annie Spratt/Unsplash.

If you've ever spent time around a young child that needs a nap, you know it doesn't take much to make them cranky. And if kids are constantly in need of more sleep, it can start to add up, taking a toll on their moods, development, school work and friendships.

That's because kids actually need more sleep than adults to function well.  

It’s just as important as diet and exercise to their health. A lack of sleep can mess with a kid’s hormones — specifically, the hormone responsible for their growth, which is secreted primarily while they’re asleep. It also affects their concentration, memory, and problem-solving — which takes a toll on their academic performance. Plus, sleep deprivation comes with a whole host of behavioral and emotional issues — including emotional control, hyperactivity, and impulsivity — in kids as young as 7.

And the effects can be longterm too.  Sleep deprivation early in life has also been linked to health problems in adulthood, including diabetes and heart disease. To make matters worse, research also suggests there is a correlation with socioeconomic status and sleep deprivation, making kids who are already disadvantaged especially vulnerable to its effects.

Experts estimate that somewhere between 20% to 30% of kids have encountered sleep problems. But the good news is that a better bedtime routine can go a long way to help.

That routine doesn’t have to be complicated, either: taking a warm bath, slipping into a favorite pair of dinosaur pajamas, brushing teeth, and then drifting off after a story can make all the difference, research shows, as long as that routine is consistent.

Photo via Westin.

Over time, according to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a regular bedtime routine will help kids fall asleep more quickly, sleep longer, and wake up less often in the middle of the night. It also led to fewer behavioral problems during the day.

The only problem is that not every kid has the luxury of a soothing, comfortable routine.

In households that struggle to afford basic necessities, the simple comforts that make bedtime soothing — a nutritious snack, cozy PJs, a storybook — are not always readily available. And without them, many of the benefits of a bedtime routine can be lost or diminished. It’s easy to forget that something as simple as pajamas can be a privilege, and an important one at that.

Recently, many inventive solutions have emerged to help kids in need with their sleep hygiene, including programs like Project Rise: ThreadForward, launched by Westin Hotels & Resorts.

As part of this program, Westin is collecting, processing and reweaving discarded high-quality bed linens from its hotels and transforming them into pajamas that they are donating to kids all around the world who otherwise can't afford them.

Repurposing sheets into pajamas

When kids get a good night sleep, they are more likely to succeed. Turns out pajamas might be a key piece of this equation and this company is trying to help.

Posted by Upworthy on Friday, April 20, 2018

Pajamas may be a simple comfort, but they can be a critical part of sleep hygiene, especially for the kids who need it most.

Good habits create a solid foundation for life, and even the small things — like a warm glass of milk or comfy PJs — have a part to play. They might seem simple, but they’re an important part of forming the routines that kids carry with them well into the future.

Image via iStock.

Every child deserves sufficient rest. And with all the demands we place on kids today, it’s more critical than ever to get them on the path to a good night’s sleep.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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