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Health Matters

Too Tired to Move

March 1st, 20171 Comment

By Loretta Friedrich

What physically active games were popular in your childhood? Hopscotch, Tag, Red Rover, or Hide and Go Seek? These classic kids’ games never seem to go out of style. I think it’s because there is no special equipment needed and they get you moving in an enjoyable way. It can be family time fun for all ages!

There are a lot of benefits to regular movement: memory recall, academic strength, steady mood, and more “oomph.” What is the biggest benefit, according to research? Longer and deeper sleep! As a result, energy reserves fill up, which prepares you for more movement. Unfortunately, we’re often just too tired to move in the first place.

I suggest that before you ramp up the physical activity level in your family, look at how to encourage great sleep, adjusting exercise intensity and time as you go along. It’s never too late to learn how to get more sleep!

Here are some ideas as to how to relax and receive rest:

Breathe. Touch. Stretch. – Breathe in and out deeply. Massage toes, backs, and arms. Stretch. The idea is to work out kinks and relax the body.

Unplug – All members of your family will benefit from quiet time: read, colour, draw, or listen to music without words. Experience creative quiet time without the use of technology. Screens – cell phones, computers, video games, and other electronics – are notorious for grabbing your family’s attention and interrupting natural sleep cycles. Limit screen time to help everyone sleep.

Routine – Set a time for bed and stick to it! Kids thrive on routine. Children 5 to 13 need on average between 9 and 11 hours of sleep. 14 to 17-year-olds need between 8 to 10 hours. Adults can benefit from at least 8 hours. Ideally, add 1 hour before the head hits the pillow for grooming and quiet time.

Bedroom Paradise – Ensure that the bedroom is dark enough with curtains or blinds. A clean space invites a sense of calm. Relaxation can be instilled through the use of neutral and earthy colours like soft green, grey blue, and pale oak. Also, how cool is the room? Overheating can cause sleep disruption and even bad dreams! What about the other senses? I like to use a lavender spray on my pillow. Consider also aromatherapy diffusers with timers. Soft music and lighting may help calm as well.

Eating – I recommend avoid eating anything within 1 to 2 hours of bedtime. Eating forces your digestive system to work, which can interrupt healthy sleep patterns. If you do want to eat something, I propose it come in a liquid form, and no sooner than 1 hour before you want to sleep.

I leave you with a challenge: incorporate skip rope or Hide and Go Seek as part of your family’s daily routine. If you’re already playing these games with your kids, then introduce another game to them that you played when you were a kid. Kick tiredness to the curb with movement and welcome a good night’s sleep.

Tag, you’re it!

Sleepy Time Soother

1 serving

I love the comforting effect of milk mixed with calming cardamom. Coconut oil can be both an energizer and a relaxant so watch, more is not necessarily better. Adjust the amount if necessary. Raw honey can also help to promote a sense of serenity. (To be on the safe side, do not allow your child under the age of 2 to consume raw honey due to the risk of botulism.)

  •    1 cup dairy or dairy-free milk
  •    1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  •    ½ tsp coconut oil
  •    ½ tsp raw honey

Warm milk in a pan on the stove. Whisk in the ground cardamom and warm for a couple of minutes longer. Off heat, add coconut oil, and honey. Note: Refrain from using the microwave since it can deplete precious nutrients in the ingredients.

Loretta Friedrich is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, educator, speaker, writer, food lover, community supporter, health advocate, and owner of Sprout Natural Nutritional Consulting. Visit for more information.

Reader Comments (1)

Laura said on April 3, 2017

Great Article!

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