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The "I Can't Fall Asleep" Game

Girl awake in bedYour body needs lots of sleep every night. Here are some ways sleep keeps you healthy.

  • Sleep helps your body grow strong.
  • Sleep gives you energy to play and have fun.
  • Sleep helps you feel happy.

Sometimes you can't fall asleep when it's time for bed. What can you do to get sleepy? When you rest your body, your brain rests, too. Then you are ready to sleep.

How can you tell your body it is time to rest? You can learn how to relax your muscles. Relaxing your muscles can help you feel sleepy. Play the "I Can't Fall Asleep" game to relax your body when you are ready for bed.

How to Play "I Can't Fall Asleep"

Get ready.

1) Lie down on your bed. Pretend it is time to go to sleep.

2) Get ready to relax your muscles from your head to your toes.

First, relax your face.

3) Close your eyes really tight.

4) Scrunch up your face and count to 10.

5) Let your face go back to normal.

Next, relax your hands.

6) Make 2 fists.

7) Squeeze your fingers tight and count to 10.

8) Open your hands.

Now, relax your feet.

9) Start with your toes pointing at the ceiling. Count to 10.

10) Now make your toes point to the bed, like your foot and your leg are making a straight line. Keep pointing and count to 10.

11) Let your toes come up again.

Finally, relax your toes.

12) Squeeze your toes tight together. Curl your toes, like you are trying to touch the bottom of your foot.

13) Keep squeezing your toes and count to 10.

14) Now uncurl your toes.

You can relax each part of your body. Relaxing your body helps you fall asleep. Sleep is important to keep your body healthy and strong.

When you are ready for bed, you can play the "I Can't Fall Asleep" game to relax your body.

For Parents

This activity is appropriate for kids ages 5 to 7. You can help your child get ready for bed using this progressive muscle relaxation technique. Have her tighten a muscle, hold it, and then release it.

Talk your child through resting each body part from head to toe (or vice versa).

  • Face
  • Hands and fingers
  • Tummy
  • Ankles (by pointing toes)
  • Toes

What to Teach Your Child: Sleep Helps Keep You Healthy

You can teach your child not only that she needs sleep to stay healthy, but also that she can do something to help herself when she is having trouble falling asleep. Your child may be more willing to try progressive muscle relaxation if you stay with her and talk her through it the first few times.

What's the FIT Connection?

Teaching your child about getting enough sleep is part of raising FIT kids. Kids who don't get enough rest are less likely to have energy to move and be active. Sleepy kids are also less resistant to mindless eating. And sleepy kids have a hard time concentrating in school, which can affect their self-esteem and overall mood.

Because of these factors, a lack of sleep can easily lead to unhealthy habits and unnecessary weight gain. Help your child get enough rest to set an important foundation for living a FIT life.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on April 03, 2014

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