Better Sleep = Better YOU
5 reasons why getting better sleep makes you a better mom
Today, I'm excited to introduce you to Christine Lawler, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Behavioral Sleep Specialist. She strongly believes that improving sleep is one of the quickest ways to improve quality of life, and is passionate about helping parents all over the world get better sleep. Below, she writes about why getting better sleep is going to make you a better mom. Make sure to check out her resources (linked at the bottom) for learning how to do it, with your little ones around.
I know, I know. Don’t we all wish we could get more sleep? I feel like that’s the mark of adulthood—being constantly tired. It’s certainly the mark of parenthood.
We sacrifice everything for our kids and we run ourselves ragged trying to be the best versions of ourselves possible. We should be sacrificing for our kids. It’s an ingrained biological instinct that suddenly this tiny human overpowers our sense of selfishness—but sometimes we sacrifice in ways that don’t actually pay off like we want them to. Sleep is the biggest culprit of all.
Of course, some of our sleep sacrifices are unavoidable. Heavens, they come out of the womb waking up, like, every 2-3 hours. Then later they go through things like teething, sleep regressions, sickness, nightmares, etc, (…etc, etc) and we sacrifice our sleep because they need us to.
The thing is, these sleep disturbances should be rare and short lived but for many parents, bad sleep has just become the norm. We think we’re sacrificing our sleep to help our children, but the greatest benefits for our kids actually come from having well-rested parents:
· You’re meeting one of your child’s most fundamental needs. It feels selfish to want your baby to sleep well so you can sleep well. But the fact is, food, SLEEP and love are our 3 most important needs to survive and thrive. Fostering healthy sleep habits in your little one is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Sleep promotes physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.
· You’re nicer and more patient when you’ve slept well. Sleep has this magical property of regulating our emotions. When we don’t sleep well, we’re more prone to things like depression, anxiety, and overwhelm. When you’ve got a sweet little baby at home you probably don’t have as many reasons to feel grumpy or impatient… but believe me, once that baby hits toddler-hood you need as much patience as you can possibly muster. This is easier with sleep.
· You’re more fun. It’s way easier to engage with your kids, play on the floor, play dress up, or have the energy to do crafts and playdates when you’ve slept well. When you haven’t slept well you can certainly do those things, but our kids pick up on our energy level and enthusiasm (or lack thereof).
· You’re a better version of yourself: Imagine one of those (rare) days that you had a great night of sleep. Didn’t you wake up feeling empowered and ready to take on the day? When we get good sleep, we have more pep in our step, motivation and drive. We’re better examples of productivity and optimism.
· Your relationships are better. Grumpiness and impatience also take a toll on our marriages. We’re much more likely to feel resentful, keep score, and neglect our partner’s needs when we’re exhausted. Keeping a marriage thriving and happy is one of the greatest blessings we can give our kids. If you have the energy to nurture your relationship with your partner you’ll feel more peace and fulfillment during the day which will, in turn, benefit your child.
Ready to get sleep on track for the whole family? Visit www.thepeacefulsleeper.com for more information or find my comprehensive sleep training guide “Get Your Sleep On” on amazon. For those newborn parents out there, download this FREE Newborn Sleep Survival guide here: http://thepeacefulsleeper.com/sleep-training-guides/
-Christine Lawler / @the.peaceful.sleeper