The 4th Child

The 4th Child

By: Geoff Gilman

You know and understand that you need sleep. You also know that you don’t get enough sleep. 

It’s nothing new to hear that sleeping eight hours every night is important. It’s common knowledge that if you want to have energy throughout the day, you need to sleep a sufficient amount of hours every night. No one wants to be tired throughout the day.

What you are not hearing is how to get the proper sleep and the steps needed to accomplish this. What you are also not hearing is the importance of having a full sleep schedule.

Have you ever asked yourself or been asked these questions? 

    • Where can I go to learn how to sleep properly? 
    • What steps do I need to take to get a good quality sleep? 
    • What even is “good” sleep? 

You might remember the days where sleep came so naturally. You went to bed, you woke up refreshed and maybe even got a nap on that day. If you’re like most people, those days are long gone and you were a child the last time this was happening consistently. 

In this section, we will address how we treat sleep in our lives and the fundamental mistake we are making. In order to do that, you must understand the importance of sleep and the negative effects of neglecting those “zzzz’s”. 

Here are some of the effects of not getting enough sleep:

    • Low energy that comes from not having enough sleep
    • Caffeine, sugar, and other dependents needed to make up for lack of sleep
    • Headaches and body aches
    • Very easily frustrated 
    • Consistent sleep debt and the need to catch up on sleep
    • These are just some of the immediate side effects. The long term effects include medical conditions related to the heart and brain and the shortening of one’s life by 7-10 years.

These are just some of the immediate side effects. The long term effects include medical conditions related to the heart and brain and the shortening of one’s life by 7-10 years

There is also a social and relational aspect to be considered when taking into account the negative effects of not sleeping enough.

Gaining an understanding of sleep, and not just any sleep but quality sleep, so you can learn how to implement it back into your life properly is something you don’t want to put on the back burner.

However, there is a problem that is standing in the way of you accomplishing this. Sleep is the neglected child in your life! This is called “The 4th Child”

Sleep is 1 of the 4 foundations needed in everybody’s life.

Sleep is the first foundation, the second being nutrition, the third is fitness, and the fourth is mental wellness. What you should realize is that society has trained us wrong from childhood in these core foundations of our lives. However, sleep is the neglected child no one talks about.

This issue, “The 4th Child,” is the least focused on and the last to be talked about out of the four foundations.

You probably know a lot of people that know everything about fitness and nutrition. Mental wellness is also a hot topic these days. But have you noticed that very little is ever discussed about sleep? Just like the other three foundations, there is a lot to learn. Simply put, we could all use a road map if we want to implement healthy changes in our lives. 

The 4th Child is how we help people understand that the first thing they must do to fix their sleep is to make a perspective change.

Just like someone who learns about nutrition and can never go back to simply eating whatever they want without thinking about the nutritional value. This is the same kind of perceptive change people need to undergo with sleep. 

The main point to be made is that it is a necessity that sleep be treated with the value that it is deserved. If you want change in your life, whatever that may be, you must start making sleep a priority and you should start learning more about how sleep works and its importance. Sleep must become a foundation that you are willing to explore and work on!

Free Sleep Tracking Worksheet!

(Example – Download Below)

Take a moment to complete this sleep sheet and see how your sleep is doing.
How to use: 
  • Print out the sheet or simply write down your answers on a piece of paper.
  • Feel in each section for the day and try and give your most honest answer.
  • “Number of times you think you woke up throughout the night” is different for everyone but try and remember about how many times you woke up and about how long you were awake.
Calculate how much sleep you get each day and each week.

Final Thoughts:

  • Anything less than eight hours is owed the next day and the interest will contribute to the immediate negative effects of sleep deprivation.
  • You need to add up your weekly sleep hours. Anything less than 56 hours will add to your long term debt.
  • If this is not corrected, the interest on that debt will begin to take it out on your health and will contribute to the long term effects.

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