The Awesome Power of Sleep: How Sleep Super-Charges Your Teenage Brain by Nicola Morgan
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|The Awesome Power of Sleep: How Sleep Super-Charges Your Teenage Brain by Nicola Morgan|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: If you've ever thought that teenage sleep patterns are strange you'll find all the explanations here along with how to make the most of the magical power of sleep. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: January 2021|
|Publisher: Walker Books|
|External links: Author's website|
2020 has been a strange year: I doubt anyone would argue with that statement. Lots of our routines have been completely dismantled and for some teenagers this will have brought about sleep problems. Some teens will dismiss this as irrelevant ('who needs sleep? - I've got loads to be doing) and others will worry unnecessarily. Most people, from children to adults will have the odd bad night but worrying about your lack of sleep is only likely to make it worse. And there's also the fact that for far too long, lack of sleep has been lauded as a virtue and sleep made to seem like laziness. Being up early, working late has been praised and the ability to survive on little sleep has almost become something to put on your CV.
Nicola Morgan is an award-winning teenage well-being expert and in The Awesome Power of Sleep she tells us about exactly what sleep can do for us, how it affects every organ in the body. We need to learn to believe in the power of sleep without ever worrying about not getting enough. Morgan begins by pretesting her readers: She's going to find out exactly how much you know about sleep. Don't worry about this, even if you can answer very few of the questions, because everything is going to be explained and the answers given at the end of the book - when you can take the test again and see how much you've learned.
You're going to go into some quite technical detail. I'm quite surprised that I can now explain a hypnagogic myoclonic twitch and the suprachiasmatic nucleus but I didn't find learning about them at all difficult (and science has never been my bag). Morgan has the talent for explaining quite difficult concepts but leaving you nodding and thinking that it's really quite simple. She's never patronising. The book's not just about how you sleep and how to get the best sleep but also about how to take advantage of how sleep works.
We're taken through the mechanics of sleep and how we can affect it: sleep hygiene is very important and you'll be gently persuaded that screens are not a good thing for probably up to a couple of hours before you go to bed. Don't let that put you off - there are other things to do and the aim is to develop a routine before you go to bed which should leave you drifting off to sleep quite easily.
What I also found reassuring was that she stresses that teenagers actually need more sleep than adults and even than some younger children. It isn't laziness or self-indulgence which sees them sleeping late and if they've not had sufficient sleep during the week because of the need to get up for school then it's not unreasonable for them to sleep late at the weekend. It's also worth remembering that lack of adequate sleep can, because of the stage of development of the teenage brain, mean that the teenager is more impulsive and less controlled after poor sleep.
It's a fascinating book and a very satisfying read both for teenagers and adults: I learned a great deal and I'm many times the target age. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Younger children will appreciate Nine Ways to Empower Tweens by Kathleen Boucher and Sara Chadwick and Humanatomy: How the Body Works by Nicola Edwards and Jem Maybank.
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