Sleep is good for so many different things: your personal and professional growth, happiness, health and wellness, and even your ability to learn. But sometimes it’s hard to maintain a habit of good sleep practices as adults (and parents) if they weren’t there to begin with.
Think about your childhood. Were there ways in which your parents dealt with sleep that you don’t agree with now? If you’d like things to be different in your own home, and for the benefit of your children, you’ll want to start applying healthier sleep practices now.
Step 1: Acknowledge the Sleep Mistakes of the Past
Before you enact your own plan and schedule for the way you tackle sleeping in your home, you must first look at the way you’ve approached sleep in the past. Do any of these sound familiar?
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“Who has time for sleep anyhow?!”
Everyone does. It’s simply a matter of making that time every single day. When you do, you’ll feel better physically and be able to fight off sickness more easily. This will, in turn, make you more productive and free up a lot of time wasted on being fatigued.
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
The important question here is: will you live to tell about it? Consider what it feels like when you miss out on just a few precious hours of sleep each night. Then imagine what a total lack of sleep does to your health (including decreasing your life expectancy).
“The final is tomorrow! I need to pull an all-nighter.”
Did you know sleep from midnight to early morning allows time for our brains to recall and retain information from the day? It also sorts memories out that are less important to us. So, the next time you think about trading sleep for last-minute work, remember what you’re really giving up.
You may see yourself, your past self, or others you know in the statements above. But those kinds of attitudes about sleep can’t be ignored if you want to develop healthy sleep habits for you and your family. Prioritizing sleep can make a huge difference in your lives and the lives of your family.
Step 2: Change the Way You Talk About Sleep to Your Children
Hearing the valuable aspects of sleep from the time your children are very little can set the stage for better and healthier sleep practices in your home.
So, how do you speak to your children about sleep right now? Does it sound something like this?
“If you don’t stop acting up, you will be going to bed.”
“You have to go to sleep soon.”
To have success in raising children who value sleep, you have to look at things in a new way. Sleep is not meant to be punitive. Therefore, it shouldn’t be used as a means of discipline. Instead, try switching up your language around sleep? Consider something like this instead:
“Oooh! It’s almost time for bed!”
“You get to go to sleep soon.”
Use a soothing voice and mention how nice and cozy they will be in their crib or bed. Mention how comfortable and snuggly they look in their pajamas. Just remember to paint sleep as a positive activity. After all, it’s not something you dread. What parent doesn’t delight in seeing their child with their eyes shut, quiet, and peacefully asleep for the night? Full wave delta sleep is a beautiful thing!
Step 3: Don’t Give Up Hope If It Doesn’t Stick
If you have considered the above tips and sleep in your home is still causing more grief than good, we can help turn that around for you.
Whether you are new parents of a newborn or parents of a child who hasn’t slept in years, contact us today, and we’ll help you find the right solution.