How Do We Fall Asleep?
On this podcast. You take questions from kids just like you all over the world and we find answers. We've heard from a lot of you who listen to podcast when you're winding down and getting ready for bed so it makes sense that a lot of you are inspired to send. Us questions about sleep. Flooded people toss and turn on the Risley when new getting into the deep sleep. You'll Buri somehow wakes you up but kicking and it feels like you're really hot. Why's that I don't want to get out of bed in the morning? And when it is nighttime I don't want to go. She read in this episode. We are answering your questions about sleep. Did you know there are doctors who focus specifically on helping kids sleep better? We found one of them at national Jewish health. That's a hospital in Colorado. My Name is Dr Lisa. Meltzer and I am a pediatric sleep psychologist. Which means I work with kids to help them sleep better. Do you feel like you sleep. Pretty well do you think. Oh Yea when the adults in your life tell you it's bedtime or do you struggle to get ready for bed and maybe even struggled to go to sleep or to stay asleep. Dr Meltzer says there are a few things that all of us can do to help us on the path to good sleep. Kids have a very consistent bedtime. Wake time so that means you go to bed about the same time every night. Wake up about the same time every morning. We recommend things like not having any screens in your bedroom. Having a bedroom. That's nice and cool and dark and a place that you like to sleep things like that that are very consistent. What we call sleep health. Let's jump right into some of our questions because we have a lot of kids who have sent us questions about sleep or we're going to start with the basics. Hi My name is and I live in South Orange New Jersey. I'm Steffan and my question is why do people need to sleep? Thank you I love your show similarly from Jordan in Vermont. Why do we really need to go to? Here's one from Maria and five years old and I come from Ottawa Ontario. And my question is why people need to sleep and we also got this from five year old aiden in McKinley Bill California. Why do have to sweep? 'cause I don't will you get and by the White Cornyn Swe We book. That sounds like a lovely way to fall asleep. Aiden so Dr Meltzer. Why do we need to sleep? These are great questions that scientists are spending a lot of time trying to better understand and we don't have one particular answer but we have a lot of different reasons that people think are important for why we sleep. The first one goes back to how humans have developed so there was a time when humans didn't live in houses but lived out in caves. Lived out in the wild and at night when they sleep they were inactive and that made them vulnerable so that predators. The big animals might come and attack them during the night. So you sleep to stay away from those animals that might come and harm in the middle of the night. In other words people were possibly safer tucked up in a cave or shelter sleeping through the night instead of being out and about in the dark when there were big animals with better eyesight also roaming around but being asleep doesn't mean your body shuts down completely. You can still be somewhat alert to danger when you're sleeping you do notice a little bit of the world around you. You can hear certain sounds and things like that and it same thing back in those times where you would want enough of a consciousness enough of awareness of what's going on around you to protect you from those Predator so we call that the evolution of why we sleep so another theory why we sleep is to conserve our energy. I mean we use a lot of energy during the day when you're running and you're playing when you sleep. These things changed the number of calories that you need reduce your temperature drops down your body is basically given a time to rest and relax. So that conserves your energy while you're sleeping and along those lines that allows your body to restore itself so again you're working your muscles all these types of things when you're awake and when you rest it allows them to heal sort of like when you get a cold at night it allows your immune system to fight off those bad germs to help you get better again really interesting one of the first things that happens when you fall asleep is growth hormone is released in growth hormone helps you grow so you literally grow in. Your sleep. So that's another reason. Why Sleep is important. I knew it. I knew I felt taller when I wake up in the morning. Okay maybe it doesn't work that way for adults but that's pretty cool isn't it? You grow while you're sleeping kind of make sleeps on more appealing more like something you might. WanNa do doesn't it? But it's not just your body that gets to rest and recover and rebuild from a busy day of running around. Your brain also need sleep to stay at peak performance. We know that children's brains develop in different ways as they get older so in very young children. The areas around language envision are the parts that are the most active during sleep. Because that's the part of you that's developing during the day and when you're in school aged the parts of your brain that start learning all the different things like math and reading those parts of your brain start to develop when you become a teenager the front part of your brain that helps you with decision making and keeping your mood. Nice calm. That's the part of your brain. That's most active during sleep. So your brain is also developing during sleep. Here's something else you might like to know. Sleep helps you remember what you've learned you take in information while you're awake but it sets in your brain while you're sleeping so if you're studying for say vocabulary test you. WanNa go to sleep after you've because it will help your brain remember. Those words in the morning same goes for all kinds of memories and other things. You might want to be able to repeat like that joke. Your friend told you that you can't wait to tell someone else. Hello My name is Shaun. I live in San Diego. My question is what is sleeping. Get rid of toxins in your brain. Why does sleeping get rid of toxins in the brain? It's a great question so again during the day. Our brain is really busy with everything that we have to do to help us get through the day but when we're sleeping our brain is less busy with all those activities so it has time basically to clean itself out and the toxins build up as we're active and doing all the things that we're doing so sleep gives a time for the brain to relax and sort of take care of itself. I like picturing little cleaners with brooms and stuff inside my brain going in and sweeping and scraping things off. That don't need to be there. That's perfect I mean. It really is a time. It's kind of like when you leave school overnight. They come in and they clean all the rooms and they get ready for the next day. It's the same kind of thing going on in your brain. We have some questions for you. Dr Meltzer about movement and Hello. My name is emily now from Brisbane Australia. Seven and my question is when you sleep. He'll but we're new getting into the deepest sleep your body somehow wakes you up but kicking in feels like you jump really hot what I want to know. So this is something called a hip nick jerk or asleep twitch hip nick jerk sleep twitch. I love that name. Do you ever have a hip. Nick Jerk happen to you. You're just falling asleep and then you feel like you're falling and your body twitches and it wakes you up if you watch babies. They do this all the time when they're falling asleep as you get older you tend to do it a little bit less and there's again multiple reasons why people think this happens. One of the reasons is that as you're falling asleep all of your muscles start to relax and your brain may think oh those muscles relaxing. They must be falling. And it kicks you awake and that causes you to jerk or jump high into the air. It could make maybe even scare you that feeling of