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You might be thinking… “Well, because we get tired!” or maybe if you have a little one “Because my kids get cranky!” and this is true but there is so much more too it! Sleep is so important for the entire family and for many more reasons that you not may realize! And, if you’ve got a two year old who won’t stop asking “why????” you will definitely want to read this post so you’ll know what to say when your kid says “Why do I need to go to sleep?”
As a self proclaimed night owl, I find it especially difficult to get enough sleep. Even when I’m exhausted because my youngest is teething or sick and waking up all night, I find it so hard to put my head down and grab what little sleep I can.
You’ve seen the memes… the ones where it shows a mom spending hours scrolling through her phone aimlessly instead of sleeping after putting the kid to bed because she’s finally getting a few minutes of “me” time… that’s me! Even if I know that I’ll be unlikely to get more than 5 hours of sleep, I will often be so tempted to do something rather than sleep because that’s just how I’m wired.
I’ve learned to fight that temptation though because sleep is SO important for babies, for kids, AND for moms and dads! So, I’ve partnered with Purple on many occasions now and they have sponsored this post so that I can share some key information with you about why sleep is so important and ways to help you get more and better sleep!
I’ll get into WHY sleep is so crucial in just a moment, but first, I thought I’d give you some tips for how you or your kids can get better sleep… just in case you came upon this post while desperately looking for help!
Tips for getting better or more sleep!
Make sure your bed, the temperature, sheets, pillows (if applicable), and pajamas are comfortable!
I can’t stress this enough! When people are uncomfortable in any way – even babies and kids – they have a tough time sleeping! I know it’s true for everyone in my family and I bet it’s true for yours too!
That’s why we have fans and space heaters in our rooms – it lets each of us customize the temperature in our rooms (though you definitely don’t want to leave a space heater on while asleep! Just use it to get to the right temperature and then shut it off!)
We also switched ALL our mattresses to Purple mattresses because they keep cool, are incredibly comfortable to everyone in our family even though we each have different tastes! They also don’t transfer motion so if I need to sneak out of my kids bed after putting them to sleep, they won’t notice! (cue happy dance!)
My husband and I also use the Purple plush pillows because I LOVE that they are adjustable! Some nights I want the pillow to be firmer and other nights I want it softer – and I can easily zip or unzip it to make that change!
Read more about how we updated our master bedroom and switched to our amazing Purple king sized mattress.
Clear your head before bed!
I interviewed some sleep consultants to learn some tips for getting better sleep and Christine Stevens from Sleep Solutions by Christine had this amazing suggestion that we immediately started using!
If you’re finding it hard to shut off your brain at bedtime because you’re thinking about all the things you either didn’t do that day or need to do the next day, try this simple trick: keep a notebook beside your bed and as part of your bedtime wind-down routine, write down what you accomplished today, what you didn’t quite finish today and your to-do list for the next day.
Consider a Montessori/Floor bed!
Click on my IG post below for more on this but basically… a Montessori bed is a great option for toddlers and young kids (though I know some people start it even earlier) because:
- It give your kid plenty of space to roll around (more than a crib)
- You don’t have to worry about bed rails (which are expensive and annoying to use),
- You can use the bed yourself too if your kid wakes up a ton at night and you just want to collapse in their room and squeeze out as much sleep as possible between wakings
- You like to cuddle with your kid during your bedtime routine – you won’t be able to do that if you just take the side off the crib!
- You can save money by skipping over the toddler bed and twin size bed and go straight to a full size mattress! (Put it on the floor and when they get older you can convert the crib into a full size bed frame – most do!)
- And many more reasons!
Limit blue lights and overnight phone use!
I got a ton of other great tips from Jordan Parker and my favorite tips of hers is about limiting overnight phone use! My oldest is getting older now and this is something I’ll definitely keep in mind! For now, I make sure to turn on the blue light filter on all our devices after dinner!
For young children, keep bedtime routines brief by reading a set number of books each night and ending the day with a predictable song or phrase that makes your child feel secure and calm. Give older children responsibility for their bedtime routines by encouraging them to read in bed or take evening baths with relaxing music.
Tools to promote uninterrupted sleep include a comfortable, supportive mattress and pillows, white-noise machines placed by doors or windows, humidifiers, and air purifiers to reduce allergens. Keep bedrooms free from screens, which emit light that slows melatonin production and disrupt sleep cycles with alerts. Limit overnight phone use that keeps kids up late by collecting devices at bedtime for charging in a central area or by using apps like iOS’s Screen Time to block device use overnight.– Jordan Parker, Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Owner of Dream On Baby, LLC
Change your sheets often!
You know that feeling when you get into a freshly made bed? Isn’t that the best??? Change sheets often may not be easy – do we really need more laundry? – but if you need a great night of sleep because you have an extra important day at work tomorrow, or your kid has an exam the next day – maybe change your sheets that night!
Why is sleep so important for Parents?
As a mom of three kids, and a full time working professional in a fairly traditional office environment, I can tell you that I think sleep is most important to parents because:
- We need to be able to get up with our alarm and get everyone to daycare, school, and work on time!
- We need to look at least semi-presentable at work and NOT fall asleep at our desks! (showing up to work with two different shoes is usually frowned upon)
- We need to be alert and ready to react in an emergency! (You know that time your kid tripped and you caught them before they hit their head? Yeah… you need to be alert as a parent!)
- You need to be able to drive a car, use a stove, and do other things that require you to be in your right mind!
- You have no idea if you’ll get sleep the next because your kid is due for another tooth any day now or flu season is around the corner!
- On a more serious note, sleep is especially important as we get older because it affects things like depression and inflammation! Lack of sleep takes a serious physical tole on our bodies.
And so many more reasons! And while I joke a bit in some of these, there’s absolutely an element of truth to all of them! As parents, we are responsible for the well being of our kids and we need to be well rested enough to take good care of them (and ourselves).
Why is sleep so important for kids?
Sleep is critical for our kids’ development, well being, mood, and future. I spoke to some sleep consultants who actually help families get better sleep for a living (they are saints!) to get their professional thoughts on why sleep is so important for kids and here’s what they had to say:
Think about how you feel after a bad night of sleep. Maybe you tossed and turned all night and how you felt the day after. Now, this is how our children feel after a night of sleep that was poor quality or not the amount they need for their development. For some, this is chronic and is because of them relying on something to help them fall asleep or because of a scheduling issue (too much or too little day sleep). Helping our children learn how to sleep is one of the first jobs of parents and it is so important. Children from ages birth to 2 years need a total of 11 to 17 hours in a 24 hour period including night sleep and nap to ensure proper health and development.– Erin Elkins, Mama Bear Sleep Consulting
I know that I see a huge difference in my kids when they sleep well vs. when they don’t! It seems to effect everything about their day! How they behave, how they listen and understand instructions, their mood and their interaction with other kids! As a working mom, I have so little time to spend with the kids after daycare and school and as much as I’d like to spend time with them, I often find that I have to put them to bed earlier than I’d like for them to get enough sleep! We try to make up for it by spending time together on the weekends and it’s worth it because they NEED the sleep!
Good sleep hygiene supports a healthy, happy lifestyle for the entire family as much as diet and exercise. During sleep bodies save memories and fight colds.– Jordan Parker, Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Owner of Dream On Baby, LLC
Did you know that our bodies make sense of and record our memories while we sleep! This makes so much sense because when I don’t get much sleep, I definitely find it harder to remember things!
I also definitely notice that I get sick when I don’t sleep enough and so do my kids. They are exposed to so many germs at school so it seems especially important for them to get plenty of sleep during flu season! Maybe extra even! Read more about this and my other flu season tips here and my raising a winter baby tips here.
I’m really just scratching the surface here… How much sleep we get (us AND our kids) and the quality of our sleep, is so critical to just about everything we do! It affects how we perform, feel, and act during the day and how we recover, heal, and retain information at night.
I hope I’ve given you a few things to think about in this post … Think about your and your kids’ bedtime routine, and environment, especially their beds and the temperature of the rooms, and think about whether you need to make any changes to help you and your kids get better sleep!