Sleep is to the brain what food is to the body. As moms, we wouldn't think of depriving our children of food. We should view sleep the same way. Chances are, if we’re sleep deprived so are the kids. Tips to help everyone get enough rest.
Meet the sleep geek
Central California resident Kerrin Edmonds is a mother of three and a self-described sleep geek. She shares her story of how she learned to love sleepy time: “When my youngest was born we didn’t sleep at all and I didn't know what to do. Sleep deprivation, mixed with postpartum issues, really affected my response to stress, immunity and my overall health.”
Don’t be alarmed
Kerrin did what a lot of savvy mothers do; she consulted baby books. “The books helped me a lot! But many had conflicting information and I had trouble sorting through it all. While my daughter’s sleep had gotten much better, I still had questions. That’s when I hired a sleep consultant.”
The sleep consultant profession is gaining ground in the U.S. According to Kerrin, the consultant worked with her and her growing family on establishing routines and patterns, such as limiting feeding times at night so everyone falls back to sleep more easily.
They also focused on the three Ts – time, temperature and total darkness:
- Establish a bedtime
- Set the average temperature to 68-70 degrees
- Make bedrooms pitch black
The benefits of sleeping well are many, says Kerrin. “My reaction time is better after a good night's sleep. I am sharper at my job and at critical tasks, such as driving. During sleep, humans create memories and process information. I want to remember this time of life with my kids.”
Kerrin’s husband agrees that his wife is in a better frame of mind when she’s rested. “If I don’t get to bed at a reasonable time, we all regret it the next day. My husband is great about reminding me what time it is and making sure we get to bed at a decent hour.”
Have a bed plan
Although sleeping is natural, learning to fall asleep and stay asleep is a learned skill. Just like there are different parenting styles, different sleep methods work for different families. In fact, Kerrin learned so much that she now teaches other moms how to become sleep geeks, too.