Month: May 2014

Hydration-Drinking for Thinking

Hydration, not the most exciting of the four foundations for learning. How can hydration compete with exercise?  Exercise really gets the heart pumping.    Nutrition is also a bit more interesting. Frankly, it has more texture.  Now, you would think that hydration could beat sleep for excitement, . . . . . but not when you’re a parent.

Water is the driving force of all nature.  Leonardo da Vinci

Hydration, the step-child of nutrition, is important, even if it is not exciting.  Our bodies are made up mostly of fluid and this accounts for over half of our body weight.  Our brain floats in fluid. We know that even mild dehydration can lead to physical problems ranging from headaches to faintness to a weak rapid pulse.   However, did you realize that a mere 1-2% decrease in optimal hydration can result in drops in cognitive performance?  And while cognitive skills decline, irritability is shown to go up.  And this will happen before you even feel thirsty (in fact, feeling thirsty means you are more than a little dehydrated).

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Sleep, Attention, Learning & Behavior

Sleep supports learning
Sleep readies us for the day

Nutrition, sleep, hydration, and exercise-I am reviewing the four foundations of learning (and life).

The second of our four foundations is sleep.  Science is still trying to figure out exactly why we need to sleep . . . but, while they are sorting this out, let me assure you that we DO need to sleep.  We really do.  Adults definitely sacrifice sleep for other things (not the least of which is surfing the internet-so thanks for reading).  And we often think that, because our kids are getting more sleep than we do, they are getting enough.  But they may not be.  And lack of sleep is linked to several problems with learning, behavior, and attention.

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