Why do I need sleep?
  • I need to sleep so my body can rest. This includes the muscles we work like our legs and the muscles that work automatically like our heart. Our mind and brain also needs a rest.
  • While you sleep and rest your body turns the food that you ate in the evening into food for growing and repairing your body. That food is also used by your body for energy to fight germs and some energy is stored.
  • Your brain keeps pretty busy organising your sleep cycle and giving you dreams.
  Did You Know?
  • Nobody really knows what dreams are. Scientists believe dreams happen when your brain is sorting through all the information it has stored.
  • When you were a baby you needed more sleep than you do now. When you are an adult you will probably need only 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • If you donít get enough sleep you have less energy so you get tired and grumpy more easily.
  • An insomniac (in-som-nee-ack) is someone who canít go to sleep night after night.
Family Sleep Survey

Conduct a survey of your family. On a piece of paper write the names of your family members (including your Grandparents) and write their age beside their names. Keep a record of the time each person goes to bed and what time they wake up for over a week. Then work out how many hours of sleep they get each night. Can you work out the average?
Do the older members of your family need less sleep than you? How about the oldest member? (Sometimes they need more sleep!) You might be able to interview them and record their comments about their needs for sleep.
Collect suggestions from your family of how to get a good nights sleep.
If you want to do a real scientific study you will need to collect more data about each age group. Collect the data of 10 people your age, 10 people in your parentís age group and 10 people from your grandparentís age group for over a week. You could then use your data to answer other questions like "Do females need more sleep than males?"
Dream Maker
See if you can remember the dreams you have. You probably wonít remember all of them, but perhaps the one that you have just before you wake up. What is it about? Whoís in it? Is it in colour or black and white? Does it have anything to do with what you were doing just before you went to bed, or saw on TV, or did during the day?

Sleep detectives
Be a sleep detective. This investigation was sent in by Anna C (age 8)

What you need:
A stopwatch
An person who sleeps during the day

What you do:
Wait until the person is asleep, and gently feel their pulse for a minute.
When the person wakes up, feel their pulse for a minute again. What changes are there?
Did you hear about the person who dreamt they ate a huge fluffy marshmallow?
When they woke up their pillow was missing.

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