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MissouriFamilies eNewsletter

April 24, 2017



“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

~Abraham Lincoln



Woman turning off alarm clockApril 23-29 is National Sleep Awareness Week

Sleep – Are you getting enough?

Jinny Hopp, former Human Development Specialist, Jasper County, University of Missouri Extension

Research in the area of sleep has determined that as many as two-thirds of Americans lack enough sleep. A National Sleep Foundation poll found that 43 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 64 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep during the week... The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention has called insufficient sleep a “public health epidemic.”

Contrary to common belief, sleep is not a time when the mind and body shuts down. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration and strengthening occurs.” Sleep serves critical functions and it is necessary for optimal health and well-being...

To learn more about how much sleep we need and how to get better sleep, see the full version of this article at

Man reading in bedInsomnia remains the most common sleep disorder

There are a wide variety of sleep disorders that impact all types of people, according to Renette Wardlow, a human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Nearly all of us experience sleeplessness at one time or another. Unlike some problems we grow out of, insomnia remains with many of us through life, changing only in its intensity and its particular form,” said Wardlow.

Sleep problems can be divided into two basic categories: insomnia and then a group that includes all other sleep disorders...

To learn more about sleep disorders and how you should and should not cope with them, see the full version of this article at

Toddler exploring computer partsApril 24-28 is Week of the Young Child

Help children explore their curiosity

Nina Chen, Ph.D., CFLE, former Human Development Specialist, Jackson County, University of Missouri Extension

Curiosity drives children to explore, learn and discover new things. According to Dr. Bruce Perry, professor of child psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine, curiosity is the beginning of a “cycle of learning.” Curiosity not only leads to exploration and discovery, but also mastery of learning as the cycle repeats itself with new curiosities and discoveries.

As children explore, their experiences fuel social, physical, emotional and intellectual development. Children with less curiosity are less likely to participate in social groups and may be harder to teach. The following are some tips for parents to help spark children’s curiosity...

For important tips to help fuel your child's curiosity, which can be fun and enriching for parents as well, see the full version of this article at

Asparagus bundleAll about asparagus

Susan Mills-Gray, Nutrition and Health Specialist, Cass County, University of Missouri Extension

Asparagus, in season in April and May, is a fat-free, low-sodium vegetable that provides lots of nutrients and only three calories per spear.

Nutrients found in asparagus include:

  • Folate – Reduces risk of heart disease, dementia and neural tube defects
  • Vitamins A and C – Reduce risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and protect eye and skin health
  • Vitamin K – Essential for bone formation and blood clotting
  • Potassium – Maintains healthy blood pressure
  • Rutin – Strengthens capillary walls
  • Inulin – A food source for the good bacteria in the large intestine

For tips on selecting, storing and preparing asparagus, including recipes, see the full version of this article at

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