Sleep is vital for everyone.
We need it, we need it regularly, and we get it often...until we have kids...
Yep. As soon as you have kid, sleep goes away. It's a tough stage to figure out, and although it is different for every set of parents, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I promise.
Justin Worsham of The Dad Podcast has learned an interesting lesson regarding being a new parent.
He said, "What I have learned is that your sleep is equally important to the baby's. My dad's best parenting advice was not to get up with my wife when she feeds our son. Because one day she will hit a wall and you need to be well rested enough to tap her out then. He was right. Men usually don't hear a baby cry, but they do hear a mother talk to their baby through their teeth in a moment of frustration. Experts say that being well rested makes you a more attentive and better parent."
If we know that it is so important for adults, why do we let our kid's sleep schedules get all messed up?
Yes, I know, things get in the way. There's your work, their homework, your family, their extracurriculars, and there's just life.
We get it, we really do. However, you really need to consider how important your kid's sleep schedule is. Sleep impacts growth, heart health, weight, immunity, injury risk, attention span, and learning. Right? Sleep really is that important.
So what do you do?
First off, get a schedule going. Don't make it so strict that life can't shift it a bit, but make it firm enough that a cycle develops.
Also, turn off the screens. TV, phones, tablets, all of them. Turn them off. The screens cause our bodies to release cortisol, which keeps us up. "Going dark," as it is often called, helps us release melatonin, which promotes sleep.
To hear more of Justin's take on setting your kid's sleep schedule, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast
Check out his latest episode with Dr. Jay and Dr. Craig Canapari of the Yale Sleep Center about the sleep habits of teens, sleep training, and co-sleeping.
You can find some of of Dr. Canapari's tools for solving the issue at DrCraigCanapari.com