Local nonprofit teaches kids, parents importance of sleep

Local nonprofit Sweet Dreamzzz teaches the importance of proper sleep.

- Sleep seems like a natural thing that we know how to do, but clearly we don't. So many kids and adults are sleep deprived and a local nonprofit Sweet Dreamzzz wants to change that.

Starting with the kindergartners, students at Dixon Academy in Detroit are learning a different lesson - how to get a good night's sleep and how much sleep they really need.

Local nonprofit Sweet Dreamzzz has made it their mission to give kids of all ages and their parents the tools and the know how to get the right amount of rest.

"Preschoolers need anywhere from 11 to 14 hours of sleep," said Nancy Maxwell of Sweet Dreamzzz. A lot of parents think their child needs 8 or 9. They're coming to school sleep deprived, and that shows in learning and also their behavior."

Dixon Academy social worker Jackie Carter can spot a sleep deprived child a mile away.

"They come in late; they sleep during class," she said. "(They're) sluggish - they have no get up and go."

With their REM, or rest, educate and motivate, program, Sweet Dreamzzz helps economically disadvantaged kids with a sleep kit, including a sleeping bag or blanket, toothbrush and a book. The hope is that the children and their parents will learn the importance of sleep quantity and quality.

"Parents really want to be good parents with their children but they just don't know about routine ... about how many hours a child needs," Maxwell said.

For more information, visit www.sweetdreamzzz.org.


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