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Make it a Habit to Practice Self-care

As parents, we innately tend to the needs of everyone around us. We’re up early making breakfast, go past our bedtime tidying the home. But is there a manner in which we care for ourselves? What are your favorite self-care methods?

Self-care are the methods we take to ensure that we maintain a healthy lifestyle. When exercising self-care, we are able to manage stress in a way that allows us to tackle daily tasks without feeling inundated. Furthermore, practicing self-care addresses both "physical and emotional needs". Some exemplars of self-care are tending to hygiene, sound nutritional habits, as well as engaging in hobbies that bring enjoyment.

One basic form of self care that has proven crucial to preventing malnutrition is adequate sleep. Letting your body rest is essential to areas of brain function and physical health. When we sleep, we allow our body's to get the much needed rest that it deserves. Blood pressure, heart function and hormone development all work together to ensure that our body is up and running. However, poor sleep can cause heart attacks, decreased responses to insulin, not being able to think clearly, and much more. Therefore, doctors recommend the following sleep patterns:

Recommended hours of sleep

Below you can find the recommended hours of sleep, including naps, for different ages.

  • For newborns younger than 4 months, sleep patterns vary widely.

  • Babies 4 months to 1 year old should sleep 12 to 16 hours per day.

  • Children 1 to 2 years old should sleep 11 to 14 hours per day.

  • Children 3 to 5 years old should sleep 10 to 13 hours per day.

  • Children 6 to 12 years old should sleep 9 to 12 hours per day.

  • Teens 13 to 18 years old should sleep 8 to 10 hours per day.

  • Adults 7 to 9 hours a night.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that Americans aren't getting enough sleep, leading to deleterious health effects largely seen in the Black community. One determining factor of poor sleep patterns in the Black community is economic disadvantage. MSN states that "The data indicates quality sleep is harder to come by for Black people, with economic, social and environmental factors all playing a role.". Furthermore, individuals in the Black community tend to develop cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and a slew of other health impairments because of lack of sleep. This data is alarming because it goes to show that minority populations are not only struggling to support their families, but are literally killing themselves to do so.

To add, single parents develop improper sleep habits due to the challenges of raising children. Being the sole provider makes it challenging because single parents are always looking for more ways to earn income, therefore, taking on multiple jobs. Since their time is mostly devoted to working, once they get home the focus shifts to household chores, getting children prepared for bed, and trying to find the time to unwind mentally. By the time this all handled, a single parent may get five hours of sleep at minimum.

Overall, sleep is crucial to sustaining a healthy life. How are you ensuring that you prioritize sleep?

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Mar 11
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I love this blog topic because sleep is something that I struggle to prioritize in my adult life. Actually I also struggle with keeping my son’s bedtime some nights and we both pay for it the next morning. He’s 9, and realizing that he needs 9-12 hours of sleep is a wake up call! As a single parent sometimes I wind up crashing on the couch which definitely effects the quality of my sleep throughout the night. I think developing a simple, slow night time routine , like a warm bath and lighting a candle to set the ambiance can help.. Even though at times it seems impossible! Thank you for touching on this topic !

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