“Eat and sleep and you will live a long time. You have to learn to relax”. Misao Okawa is 116 years young and obviously won the generic lottery for health and wellbeing.

But I like to think her wisdom speaks volumes for adults and children alike.

A healthy body is a healthy mind is a happy soul. Nutrition and rest make it so. And a developing body requires more rest and an appropriate routine. Bed and sleep well before a child becomes delirious and crashes on the sofa/in the back seat of the car/on your lap.

Irregular bedtimes can disrupt everyday rhythms, which in turn leads to sleep deprivation. Physical, emotional and behavioural changes occur during a 24-hour cycle as the body responds to light and dark. Apparently it’s something like jet lag when repeated over time.

There are many sleep experts out there you can tap into to help with your child’s issues if it’s a problem, but the responsibility is entirely yours. Give yourself and your dear one the gift of calmness and find a routine to satisfy you both.

It’s an investment in their development and your sanity, and it’s never too late to introduce as the detrimental effects are completely reversible. It may take enormous effort and energy, high drama, tantrums (keep your cool), and at first until sleep time becomes a pleasant experience for all.

Children don’t grow out of bad habits and behaviour. They require adults to guide them to learn and then understand.

Misao’s wisdom is not ground breaking nor, an ancient Japanese mystery. Next step is to adopt her sushi diet and you’ll be blowing out an inferno on your birthday cake too.



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