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Sleep Awareness Week: How you can help local children sleep comfortably

Posted at 5:08 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 11:02:36-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — The week after Daylight Saving Time is known as Sleep Awareness Week. One local non-profit is using this week to ask for your help in their efforts to make sure every child has a bed in WNY.

Sleep in Heavenly Peace builds and delivers beds to local children ages 3-17. Their motto is, "No kid sleeps on the floor in our town!" Currently, it's estimated that 10,000 kids do not have beds in our area, according to SHP.

"It's a problem most people have never thought about, that children don't have beds," said Jerry Sheldon, SHP President.

To date, they've delivered 332 beds. They receive more than 70 applications each month. To help meet this need, they need volunteers and donations.

"We purchase a lot of the materials, so we do need financial support as well, we've been very blessed with the community supporting what we're doing," said Sheldon.

Volunteers can help build beds at their location in the Eastern Hills Mall or help deliver beds. They mainly do work on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Sleep Awareness Week was launched by the National Sleep Foundation to celebrate sleep health and encourage the public to prioritize sleep to improve health and well-being. Many of us don't get enough sleep, which can have impacts on our daily health.

Many studies have been conducted on the effects that lack of sleep can have on children, SHP has these bullet points on their website:

  • Poor sleep can lead to hyperactivity issues as early as age five
  • In teenagers, anxiety and depression are linked to poor sleeping habits 27% and 69% of the time
  • Kids who don't sleep well don't grow as well as their peers
  • Kids who get good sleep tend to get sick less frequently
  • Plenty of sleep usually translates to better grades, improved emotional health, and a healthier home life
  • Sleep is a sort of "recharge" time for body and mind, and if it's not adequate there are negative physical and mental effects
  • During sleep, cells can repair themselves, leading to better physical health
  • The brain and body release important hormones during a good night's sleep, leading to better physical and emotional health
  • Kids who don't get enough sleep tend to struggle with irritability, forgetfulness and emotional regulation
  • Kids who are sleep deprived tend to struggle with being overweight or obese

To help meet their 500 bed goal, they need volunteers to help build and donations of kids bedding. One bed costs $200 to build, $400 for a bunk bed. You can donate money to go toward a specific item on their website.

To request a bed, click here.

To donate, click here.

To volunteer, email or call 844-432-BEDS (2337)