Have you recently thought, “just go to bed!”? If so, you will love this video on gentle sleep bedtime tips.
Sleep deprivation is a critical issue, impacting all aspects of life for both parents and children. Our next stop in the mission to stop the fighting, yelling, and frustration is an interview with Betsy Smith Barney, a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach who helps families get the sleep they deserve.
Betsy works with parents of children from infancy through age six on family-centered goals, such as:
- Children learning to stay in bed all night
- Children learning to fall back asleep when they awake during the night
- Decreasing early-rising (waking early in the morning)
To understand why your child is having trouble falling or staying sleep, an important question to ask yourself is, “What does my child want?” Children often become accustomed to a certain type of input when falling asleep, such as being rocked, listening to music, or being in the presence of Mom or Dad. An important goal is helping a child become comfortable lying quietly in bed, “trying” to sleep, without this external input. This is an important skill for both falling asleep at bed time and falling back asleep if they awaken during the night!
One common myth is that a child who stays up later will be more tired and therefore fall asleep easier. This is not true! In reality, there is a “critical window” of time when children are most successful falling asleep. If a child misses this window, their brain starts releasing chemicals to keep them awake, which is counter-productive to sleep.
Sleep needs and bedtimes vary from child to child, but Betsy reports these averages:
When sleep is difficult, children often become anxious towards bedtimes as sleeping time nears. This anxiety is often influenced by parents’ own displays of anxiety or desperation for sleep. Consequently, dread sets in by both the parent and the child!
If you’re looking to improve your child’s sleep patterns so they (and you) are more calm, well-rested and happy, Betsy says you can expect a difference after only 12 days of sleep coaching.
Want more great tips? Be sure to watch the video interview with Betsy. Improving your family’s sleep is one critical step in rediscovering peace and happiness in your home. You can also find additional strategies to help get your child’s sleep back on track, visit Besty Smith Barney’s website: http://betsybarney.com.