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Better sleep for kids starts with better sleep for parents – especially after holiday disruptions to routine

Erika Bocknek, associate professor of educational psychology at Wayne State University, wrote an article for The Conversation about sleep routines. Everyone knows that sleep is critical for growing children and their mental and physical health. Regular, high-quality sleep habits help children consolidate memory and learn better. A lack of sleep contributes to childhood depression, anxiety and even risk of suicide, along with physical health problems, including risk of injury. The challenge is making sure kids log those valuable zzz’s. She writes that there are three main components of high-quality sleep for children. First, they need enough total hours – sleep duration. Sleep quality is important, too – sleeping soundly during the night with few disruptions or awakenings. And, finally, there’s sleep timing – essentially, a consistent schedule, with bedtime and risetime about the same across the whole week.

8 resolutions you can actually stick to for a happier, healthier New Year

By Betty Gold and Juno DeMelo  The new year is a great time for a health reset. But when we set the bar too high, we inevitably blow it, blame ourselves, and go back to the status quo. You're supposed to get two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, or about 30 minutes five days a week.9 But don't let those numbers intimidate you out of doing what you can. Experts say you can break down the time into 10-minute sessions without missing out on exercise's physical and mental benefits. And research backs up the power of short workouts: One study found that 13 minutes of weight training three times a week is enough to build strength, while another showed that just five minutes a day of running is all it takes to reduce your risk of death from cardiovascular disease. "Some studies suggest that merely standing is good for metabolic health," says Tamara Hew-Butler, PhD, an associate professor of exercise and sports science at Wayne State University in Detroit. "The bottom line is that any exercise is better than none at all."

Wayne State adds American Sign Language to teaching curriculum

Deaf people say they sometimes feel like they’re leaving on a different planet from those who hear, but when both learn to use American Sign Language, it can open up a new world of communication. In Detroit, Wayne State University is taking notice. The school’s College of Education recently included a Deaf Studies minor in its curriculum, and the classes are filling up. As the program grows, the school is actively recruiting people who are deaf or hard of hearing as teachers. Kathryn Roberts, interim assistant dean of teacher education at Wayne State, said it would not make sense to teach ASL without instructors from the deaf culture. “It was really important to our division that we had people from the deaf community working with us, because deaf culture is a huge piece of what we wanted to be teaching, Roberts explained. “And education programs, particularly Wayne State’s education program, we have a huge focus on the community.” Roberts added there are an estimated 400,000 deaf people in Michigan, which means the program potentially affects one out of every 20 people in the state. Emily Jo Noschese, assistant professor of bilingual and bicultural education, was one of the first instructors the school recruited. Noschase, who is fourth-generation deaf, not only teaches ASL, but has helped identify and hire five part-time ASL instructors. “Anybody that’s working in a business, somebody who might own a business or a company, they are guaranteed to have a deaf person that might want to come in and work for them,” Noschese said. “They learn sign language; that could benefit the rapport between them and the client, because they will be able to communicate with them.”