Friday, March 5, 2010

The Good Stuff

Last week I picked up few magazines for the drive to Plano. I normally go for the trashy, US Weekly stuff, but this time I picked up a magazine called Brain World mostly because it had the words "Neuroplasticity" on it in bold letters. Yes, I think that I am officially a dork now (pretty sure I've been there for a while).

Anyway, the magazine is great and full of really interesting brain info. I wrote down like five different topics I'd love to share with you guys.

The thing that stuck out most in my mind was an interview with a guy named John Medina who is a brain expert (there's a very specific description on his web site if you'd like to read it, but it was full of really long words and me and scientific terminology? it's a rocky relationship).

There was one thing that I very distinctly remember and understood and it was this: sleep is critical to learning. Critical.

Basically, when we sleep, our brains review things that we've learned over and over again. Disrupt sleep, and you disrupt learning.

Some kids have trouble sleeping. Charlie is just now getting through a period of insomnia brought on by switching his seizure medications. Hubby and I have spent the last three months tweaking things so that everybody in our house is getting a decent amount of sleep. I know Ellen was doing the same thing at her house recently. Turns out that's a good thing because sleep=learning.

After MUCH experimentation, we learned the following:

1. Charlie cannot nap for more than 45 minutes or it will throw off his sleep cycle for the day.

2. Charlie must has two round of PT-type exercise in order to sleep through the night.

3. Charlie must be in bed before nine or he will have a Vesuvius-style meltdown that keeps everyone up an extra hour (or more).

Any tricks you'd like to share?