“Health experts around the world are pointing to the fact that we are getting less and less sleep and that it is causing physical and emotional damage to us and our society.”

This year, Aunt Val (dorm parent) and Aunt Jan (school nurse), are leading the Dalat staff in a monthly challenge of taking action towards better health and wellness. In the month of September we were challenged to drink more water and many of the staff stepped up to the challenge. Some of the future challenges include consuming less sugar, reducing time on social media, increasing exercise, etc. For the month of October the challenge is to get more sleep with a goal of getting at least seven hours of sleep a night.

Down the road, we will take a look at the topic of sleep as it is an important one related to our children and our theme of “focus” this year. Health experts around the world are pointing to the fact that we are getting less and less sleep and that it is causing physical and emotional damage to us and our society.

For now I just wanted to mention the importance of rest itself. Next week we have our mid-semester break and the purpose of it is to allow our students and staff to have a break and get some much needed rest. Did you know that only 6 years ago we did not have mid-semester breaks and went straight through the 18-week semester? Many of us cannot even imagine that now.

Rest is a critical part of life. From the very creation of time, rest has been modeled for us by God himself when he took time to stop and rest, creating the important idea of taking a Sabbath. More recently, science has backed up this important idea with hundreds of studies pointing to the importance of getting adequate rest in our lives. These studies have shown that rest has the following benefits:

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Improves emotional stability and outlook on life
  • Increases creativity and productivity
  • Slows down the aging process
  • Improves memory and concentration
  • Improves general quality of life in a variety of ways

In the past, the rhythms of life, seasons, and even the day itself led to rest. More recently rest is something that we must be intentional about and take steps to make it happen. Next week during the break encourage your kids to take time and make time to rest. This might involve having them step away from technology devices and social media, having them sleep in or go to bed earlier, getting out into nature, etc. Since our world naturally draws us towards activity and entertainment, you may need to be directive and intentional in making rest be an important part of their week. If it is at all possible, do your best to join them in getting some much needed rest.

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.
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