Did you know that, all across America, kids from needy or struggling families are sleeping on the floor because they don't have a safe, comfortable bed? Today we'll take a closer look at the National Bed Crisis, what it means for kids, and how you can help.
Real Costs of the National Bed Crisis
Whether they're homeless, sleeping in a car, or curled up in a nest of clothes because they can't afford a mattress, these children are losing all the important benefits of a good night's rest.
Side-effects of the National Bed Crisis on children are:
- struggles in school
- weaker immune systems
- decreased focus
- emotional problems
- increased levels of depression and anxiety
- fewer or weaker relationships
Why Kids Need a Good Night's Sleep
Think back, for a moment, to the last time you weren't able to get a good night's sleep. How did you feel the next morning? Were you irritable, frustrated, uncomfortable, or just plain unhappy? Did you have a hard time focusing on your daily tasks?
For kids without beds, all of these feelings are a daily reality. The CDC reports that children and young adults who don't get a good night's sleep can face health problems ranging from obesity to physical injury--and on top of that, they may have emotional and behavioral issues. For all these reasons and more, it's incredibly important for kids of all ages to get enough rest on a daily basis--and beds are a big part of that.
Here's a breakdown of some of the effects on kids when they sleep on the floor:
- back problems
- joint pain
- lowered self-esteem
- reduced focus
- weakened immune system support
- longer, more severe illnesses
- mental and emotional struggles
Bedtime without a Bed
For kids who sleep in chairs, on couches, or curled up on the floor, bedtime isn't much fun. They often end up slouched or resting in uncomfortable positions, which can be bad for their growing joints, muscles, and bones; they also face unique emotional stress.
“It is really difficult to create change in your life if you don’t have the essentials,” says Mark Bergel, American University Doctorate and founder of A Wider Circle, a nonprofit organization working to furnish people's houses. Naturally, he's right: kids without beds tend to struggle with issues like low self-esteem, bullying, and more, which makes it difficult for them to imagine futures full of success and happiness.
In short, bedtime without a bed is unhealthy for more than just the body--it's unhealthy for the soul, too.
What You Can Do to Help
The National Bed Crisis is a real--and scary--issue, but that doesn't mean it's unstoppable. By volunteering to build and deliver bunk beds to families in need, you can help kids stop sleeping on the floor and instead get the good night's rest we all deserve. Those children will go on to do better in school, make stronger relationships, and have higher self-esteem--but before any of that can happen, they need your help. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and take on the National Bed Crisis?
Not able to volunteer? No problem. Make a donation to help kids in need.
Sleep is a basic human need, especially for kids who are growing, exploring, and learning about their world. The sad truth, though, is that too many U.S. children don't have beds to sleep in--a crisis affecting everything from grades to health to self-esteem. Luckily, people are finding creative ways to help.
We're always looking for helping hands. To learn more about the National Bed Crisis and how you can make a difference, please contact us today.