8 Sleep Facts All Parents Should Know
There are steps you can take to rule out sleep disorders and create customized sleep plans if your family is struggling with any of the #SleepFacts below…
Fact #1 – Poor sleep causes impaired driving just as much as alcohol consumption.
Fact #2 – Brief waking (fragmented sleep under 1 minute multiple times at night) causes sleep deprivation the same as prolonged wakefulness (equivalent to those getting only 4 hrs. of sleep)
Fact #3 – The symptoms of a 3 yr. old child who is sleep deprived, are identical to a those of a 3 yr. old child rightfully diagnosed with ADHD.
Fact #4 – Many gastrointestinal issues are caused by sleep deprivation.
Fact #5 – The brain is the only organ in your body that does not have a lymphatic system to clear waste, toxins and stress that build up in it. Only slow wave sleep does this. Poor sleep quality prevents us from experiencing these restorative stages of sleep within our sleep cycles.
Fact #6 – Sleep has nothing to do with the contents of the stomach. A full stomach does not make babies sleep longer or deeper. Sleep is 100% about the brain and hormones.
Fact #7 – Poor sleep greatly increases depression, hostile behavior, and negative emotions.
Fact #8 – Cognitive abilities, such as verbal fluency, working memory, reasoning, and cognitive flexibility (a skill vital to both parenting a toddler and maintaining a healthy marriage) are severely impaired after just a 2 consecutive days of poor sleep.
If your family is struggling with any of the above, here is what to do:
- Keep a sleep journal for one week. Much like one would a food journal or spending log.
- Make an appointment with your care provider or your child’s pediatrician. Bring your sleep log. Have your physician rule out any sort of sleep disorder.
- If your physician rules out a sleep disorder, then contact a certified child and family sleep consultant for a customized sleep plan that addresses vital sleep hygiene needs that are developmentally correct for each member of the family, and provides behavioral method options for changing poor sleep habits, along with personalized coaching.
- Stick with it for 3 straight weeks! It takes 21 days to adjust the internal body clock, bank hours in your sleep debt and form permanent and powerful new habits.