How to Be a Better Parent by Getting Better Sleep
As a parent, you know that good sleep is essential for your child’s growth: physical, emotional, and mental. However, it’s important not to forget that parents need good sleep, too! Especially in the early years of your child’s life, sleep can be more elusive than ever, but sleep isn’t just “nice to have.” It’s necessary for your health — and for parenting. Below, learn how to be a better parent by getting better sleep.
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1. Sleep helps you concentrate
When you get quality sleep, your ability to concentrate on the task at hand improves. When you have kids, it’s important to stay present and focused. The ability to concentrate helps you do everyday parenting tasks efficiently, like changing diapers or feeding. It also means you’re present for the moments you don’t want to miss, like the first time your child starts walking or when they say their first word.
2. Your mood is more stable with better sleep
Lack of quality sleep can trigger mood swings, feelings of irritability, negative thoughts, anxiety, and depression. When you’re in a bad mood, it’s easy to take it out on your child. Getting restorative sleep can stabilize your mood, making you feel calm and ready to tackle anything.
3. Sleep helps you be more consistent
A study by the University of Illinois found that mothers who are not well-rested or who take longer to fall asleep have a greater tendency to engage in what’s called “permissive parenting.” That’s parenting behavior that’s inconsistent or lax, probably due to the inability to focus or feeling overtired. Simply put, lack of sleep affects your ability to discipline and parent your children.
4. You can avoid dangerous accidents
If you’ve ever experienced sleep deprivation, you may have felt so tired that you could fall asleep standing up. Or you’ve felt so unfocused that you can’t pay attention to anything. Unfortunately, many parents who are sleep deprived still get behind the wheel to go to work or run errands. Driving drowsy isn’t safe; in fact, about 7% of all motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. involve driver drowsiness.
5. Sleep offers a number of physical health benefits
When you don’t get enough sleep, you put yourself at risk of getting sick, as well as increase your risk for conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. These issues can affect your ability to do your job as a parent.
6. Sleep begets sleep — for you and your kiddo
Getting consistent, quality sleep often means you can fall asleep easily and soundly at night. When you’re sleep-deprived, you may feel groggy during the day and so anxious that you can’t fall asleep at night. Rather than fall asleep, you think of items on your to-do list or mistakes you’ve made during the day. In turn, you don’t sleep well, and you wake the next day not feeling your best. It’s a difficult cycle to break.
7. Your baby will feel better
Your baby or toddler responds to how you feel. If you’re grumpy and exhausted from lack of sleep, your little one will feel those feelings, or even emulate how you act. When you’re well-rested and feeling good, they’ll mirror those emotions and behaviors back to you.
8. You can teach your children good sleep habits
As a role model for your kids, it’s important to demonstrate healthy sleep habits for them. They’ll take their cue from you. Show your children that having a healthy bedtime routine and creating a good sleep environment is important. If you prioritize getting 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep every day (and short naps if you need them), they’ll follow your lead.
9. You can enjoy being a parent
Feeling well-rested helps you fully enjoy being a parent. Your mood is calm and happy, you can pay attention to your child, and you have the energy to attend to and play with them.
How to Be a Better Parent with RestoreZ
You may have been thinking this whole time, "And how exactly am I supposed to fit more sleep into my schedule?" But more sleep isn't the answer - BETTER sleep is the answer.
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