Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to improving children's health, well-being and academic performance by providing sleep education and bedtime essentials to economically disadvantaged students and their families. Sleep is a necessity for good health, mental well-being, and safety. The goal of Sweet Dreamzzz, Inc. is to improve the quality and quantity of sleep to at-risk children, thereby allowing them to feel more rested in school and improve their learning potential. Adequate rest helps prevent obesity, and has a significant impact on educational and social performance.
The Sweet Dreamzzz R.E.M. (Rest. Educate. Motivate.) Sleep Program is brought into schools to educate children on how sleep affects them physically, socially, psychologically and academically. The forty-five minute fun, hands-on program informs children on the importance of sleep in every aspect of their lives, especially in preparation for classroom learning. The children receive a Sweet Dreamzzz Sleep Kit after the program, including a sleeping bag or blanket, night shirt, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, sleep activity book and crayons, Beanie Baby and more.
For several years, Sweet Dreamzzz has educated schools with at-risk populations and provided a sleep kit to arm children in poverty with the tools to get a good night’s sleep. Through its work with universities, the National Health, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Sleep Foundation, Sweet Dreamzzz has found that the same principles apply to all school children, regardless of their economic situation. Lack of sleep is being linked to childhood obesity, attention deficit disorder, diabetes, heart disease and countless other health issues. In fact, research shows that vaccinations are 50% less effective if a child is sleep deprived immediately following the vaccination.
Sweet Dreamzzz has expanded its program to make its services available to all students in the metro Detroit area. The Sweet Dreamzzz Enrichment Sleep Education Program serves two purposes: to continue its mission to provide important sleep education to students, and to generate funds allowing the organization to educate more at-risk populations, which in turn builds community awareness and the opportunity to serve. Sweet Dreamzzz customizes its presentation based on the need of each school.
Partnering with Wayne State University and Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) Head Start, Sweet Dreamzzz developed the Early Childhood Sleep Education Program - designed to help Head Start teachers, students and parents work together so that preschoolers can get the sleep necessary to prepare them for life-ling learning. Head Start teachers receive training, lesson plans incorporating Michigan standards, and classroom materials necessary to weave sleep education into their curriculum for two weeks. Parents attend a workshop to learn about the importance of sleep, how many hours of sleep their child requires, and a bedtime routine to follow at home.
Research demonstrates the importance of sleep and shows the inadequacy of sleep in low income children - yet sleep is not addressed in the school health curriculum. Sweet Dreamzzz is hoping to change that and to give every child the chance at a good night's sleep. Sweet Dreamzzz has served over 34,000 children since 1998.