Raise your hand if you haven’t slept well for two nights in a row. Did you know that sleep deprivation only takes 48 hours to set in? That is just two consecutive days of a poor night’s sleep. I think we can all raise our hands for that. You may be thinking, so what? I’m a little tired, or I need less sleep than others.
This one word explains why some children and adults can manage seemingly okay with later bedtimes or less sleep. Like alcohol, some little ones have a higher tolerance for sleep deprivation than others (temperament can play a role). But it doesn’t mean they are any less impaired or under the influence of sleep deprivation. It is helpful to remember this when you are tempted to compare your child with another or assume that your little one is doing fine with a late bedtime.
has serious physical, emotional, and mental effects, no matter your perceived tolerance for less sleep. The cognitive impairment is real. And it is serious. Sleep deprivation impairs the brain and thinking just as much as having two cocktails. Would you let your nanny or childcare provider care for your child while under the influence of two alcoholic beverages? Would you trust their decisions and reaction times? Situational awareness? Mood? Ability to communicate? Would you let them drive your child to an activity?
The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Association) posed the research, and these questions, at the 2015 National Sleep Foundation conference I attended in Washington DC. Following this weekend-long symposium, much research has been done on the impact of fragmented sleep. It is the leading cause of chronic sleep deprivation in parents. And the second leading cause of auto accidents and deaths on the road, an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 deaths annually. This is just one of the reasons why we must take the health and safety issue of sleep seriously.
Unlike most situations where we must put on our own ‘oxygen mask’ before assisting others with theirs, a sleep-deprived parent must help their sleep-deprived child firstbefore recovering their own. Therefore, devising a plan, troubleshooting, and executing it is especially hard. This is where a qualified and experienced sleep consultant can become a valuable part of your village.
Get out of survival mode.
If you realize that you may be in survival mode, slapping band-aids on your child’s sleep issues just to survive the night, it may be the “Ah-ha moment” that encourages you to learn more and discover that it doesn’t have to be that way. We need to work on being proactive rather than reactive when guarding our child’s sleep. The 4 Pillars of Sleep Hygiene® repairs and ensures sustainable healthy sleep habits for both you and your child.
A great way to get started overcoming sleep deprivation is by getting educated and getting help. Wednesday, October 20th, 2021, I will be taking the main stage at the EAT SLEEP PLAY Tour Virtual Event. This event is focused on EVERYTHING sleep. I will be talking about the basics of healthy sleep for families, the dreaded time change, plus travel and transitions, all of which have an impact on sleep for our kids and us. I will cover the critical pillars to healthy sleep that every family can implement. I will also be doing a Q&A, so bring all your most challenging sleep questions! There will be giveaways and tips from KUDOS to baby Diapers, Naturepedic, and LovetoDreamUSA! Some giveaway prizes include 3 New Love To Dream Gift Sets and an Organic Lightweight Breathable 2-stage baby crib mattress. Click the link below to learn more and buy tickets!
Learn More About Toddler and Big Kid Sleep
If you can’t make the event, I have a sleep course designed to teach your child to sleep on their own, thus allowing you the chance to do the same! The course, Toddler and Big Kid Sleep, is self-paced, meaning you can purchase and complete it on your schedule instead of having to worry about making it on time for each class session.
The course is affordable, with two price options to fit almost everybody’s budget. Choose from the Lite course or the Elite course. Whatever one you choose, you’ll get my expertise and guidance as you navigate the important job of helping your child learn to sleep on their own. More information can be found on my website!