Sleep, Glorious, Sleep

graphic reading "Little Joy Map"

When I came up with the idea for this month’s topic, I’ll admit that I had one main goal: figure out how to do better with less sleep. As parents, there are a lot of things that get between us and a good night’s sleep–there are ear infections, diaper blow-outs, newborns, co-sleeping. Parenthood is a minefield of sleeplessness.

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I always thought that a lot of other moms were fanatical about their kids sleeping through the night. It seemed selfish to me to want your kids to sleep when they might be hungry. Or scared. I was totally wrong. Turns out we all need sleep and lots of it. In fact, the one thing I learned while reading all about sleep is that almost all of us aren’t getting enough of it. In fact, we’re pretty much a sleep-deprived nation.

And sleep? It’s not a luxury. It’s like a magic elixir. Happiness, health, better relationships, clarity of thought–all of these things come with getting enough sleep. And all of them are affected if we don’t get enough of it. So, if you want to be a happy parent, you have to get enough sleep. You also have to make sure your kids are getting enough sleep. I’ve always thought that naps were kind of optional–if your kid doesn’t sleep, then they don’t sleep! Don’t force them. Again, I was wrong. Your kids are actually smarter, happier, and healthier when they get more sleep. You owe it to them to make sure they get plenty of time to nap and rest.

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I’ll be talking about all these things this month. I also promise to give you a bunch of hints about how to do better with less sleep too because let’s face it, no matter how hard you try, sometimes your kids aren’t going to sleep and neither are you.

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