Some parents easily give up sleep to prioritize other activities such as chores or simply having some alone time without the kids around. Other parents try to catch up on their sleep by taking naps and have variable amounts of sleep throughout the night.
Research provides support for the need for quality sleep. There are many benefits of sleep for parents.
- Improved Health
See what WebMd has to say about this:
Getting a good night’s sleep won’t grant you immunity from disease. But study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.
In most cases, the health risks from sleep loss only become serious after years. That might not always be true, however. One study simulated the effects of the disturbed sleep patterns of shift workers on 10 young healthy adults. After a mere four days, three of them had blood glucose levels that qualified as pre-diabetic.
- Better Mood
Not being sleep deprived can help you be in a better mood. You are also likely to be more optimistic and positive about things rather than cranky and irritable as happens when you don’t get enough sleep. You will also have more energy to do the things that need to get done and to do the things you want to do. You will also be less “emotional” and you will have better emotional regulation.
- More Focused
It takes a lot to be a parent. You have to pay attention to what is going on around you, take care of everyone’s needs, somehow manage to take care of yourself, make lunches, do the dishes, run errands, keep a schedule for everyone, and much more. Getting enough sleep will help you to have more focus when you are going through your day which is a much needed asset to any successful parent.
So, how much sleep do you need? Everyone is different, but there are some guidelines. Some people believe they can live off of only a few hours of sleep a night and that they still function at their best during the day. However, this is very rare. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults.
Try out sleeping for 7 hours a night or 8 or 9 hours a night for many nights in a row and then try the alternative two options (7, 8, or 9 hours) and see at which number of hours you feel the best.
Also, even though, we can push ourselves through day to day life while sleep deprived and we can sometimes talk ourselves into getting things done and being in a good mood, over time sleep deprivation catches up to us. You can’t escape it.
Watch this video for information on how changes in your sleep routine impact your functioning.
Curious about why we sleep. See this link for various theories on this topic including: the inactivity theory, energy conservation theory, restorative theories, and the brain plasticity theory.
See this chart from the National Sleep Foundation for recommended sleep hours for all ages:
On a related note, I will be launching an e-course for parents who would like to take control over their lives and to experience more peace and joy in the parenting journey. Look out for the upcoming “Ultimate Parenting Success: A 7 Week Mini-Course.”
I will also be launching a Parenting Toddlers email course: To register to find out about the course and also to get access to a FREE Expert Tip Sheet for Solutions to Common Parenting Concerns with Toddlers, go to www.parentingtoddlers.org or Click Here.
Feel free to let your friends know and maybe you could take it as a group and go through the 7 steps to parenting success together. I know you are already great parents, which is why you are reading this blog, but this course will greatly transform the way you see parenting and give you so much more fulfillment and a sense of calm and control over your family life.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to get some rest. 🙂
image credit: Narong Jongsirikul via Fotalia