Sleep Knowledge

Woman struggling to sleepIt started becoming routine – lying in bed, opening my eyes to check the clock, seeing the big red numbers, 2:38 AM. Next came the run down of possible reasons for being awake – was there a noise, did I need something, did I have a nightmare? With that checklist exhausted, my brain would then go into problem solving mode, exploring all the tasks left undone the day before and determining how to get them all done plus all the new requirements of the coming day. Yet thanks to being awake for hours in the middle of the night, my ability to focus on or perform any of the tasks on the list became harder and harder.

As something of a self-care research enthusiast, I know how important proper sleep is for all aspects of health. I know the impact poor sleep has on work performance and mood. I know all about sleep hygiene and stress management. I know what steps can be taken to naturally solve the problem. Yet still I see the 2:38 AM every morning.

The same is true for so many of our youth in care at B&GH. They know the “proper” behaviors expected of them for success. They know that things will be easier if they address their fears, concerns, and frustrations with someone they trust in a loving, caring environment. They know they will feel better and get a restful sleep that will restore them for more success the next day.

Did you catch that qualifier? Someone they trust. Building trust takes time and consistency. For youth who have repeatedly been let down by the system, that trust takes even more time and consistency to be created.

Our B&GH residential staff is made up of heroes who have the patience to work consistently, every day, to create the bond of trust, knowing that even the smallest change or slip can set progress back by weeks or months. Yet they know that these children deserve every opportunity to get to the point of restful, restorative sleep.

During the extra stress time of holiday gatherings and mid-year exams our residential staff remains the consistent stabilizing force for our youth building trust through the entire season so that the new year is the best of their young lives.

You can support these children find that feeling of safety through your financial support.

Melissa Hopkins is the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

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