Ep. 191 - How To Get Better Sleep

As parents and caregivers, we know how vital sleep is to children. But it's also important that we get enough sleep ourselves. We cannot show up as the best versions of ourselves if we aren't getting enough sleep. Below you will find various resources to help you curate good sleep; starting with planning out dinner.


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00:01     hi there i'm melissa nielsen

00:03     today we're going to talk about sleep

00:05     now i've done other videos on sleep so

00:07     this is probably not going to be

00:08     anything new

00:09     that you're hearing but maybe you've

00:11     heard it a different way and maybe that

00:13     will help

00:14     um i am if you know me you followed me

00:17     for a while you know i'm a huge

00:18     proponent of sleep

00:19     i'm a huge proponent of you getting

00:20     enough sleep your children get enough

00:22     sleep your partner getting enough sleep

00:24     sleep makes the world go around it makes

00:26     you feel so much better

00:27     and you know recently i've been like

00:29     trying to hack my sleep even more

00:31     because

00:32     i want even better sleep because i want

00:34     to be able to run

00:35     every day and get all of not like

00:37     physically around but like run

00:39     run our company like run and yeah i

00:41     guess physically run too

00:42     but there are things that you can do to

00:44     to hack your sleep here and there

00:46     but truly not until you can get to a

00:49     place of

00:50     actually getting to bed and having a

00:51     sleep so i want to just talk about that

00:54     space

00:55     um you know we talk often about how to

00:58     get your kids to bed

00:59     um runway for bedtime is dinner

01:03     and like knowing all those pieces

01:05     because bedtime really doesn't start

01:06     when you go upstairs and put in your pjs

01:09     no bedtime starts at dinner so

01:12     we talk about like sort of step stepping

01:14     that back

01:15     and if you're one of our thinking

01:17     feeling willing members and you're

01:19     struggling with sleep

01:20     please come to office hours come and

01:22     talk to us about

01:23     your sleep struggles because i want to

01:24     help you that's what we do

01:26     if you are not a thinking feeling

01:27     willing member but you want to become

01:29     one

01:29     it's really easy thinking

01:31     feelingwelling.com or you can hop over

01:33     to waldorf essentials.com

01:35     if you're not a homeschooler and you are

01:38     listening to us

01:39     and in from another capacity um

01:42     then you are welcome to try our parents

01:45     in sync program we talk a lot about

01:47     sleep there as well

01:48     so lots of places we can talk about

01:50     sleep sleep is vitally

01:52     important it is really what

01:55     helps you show up every day now i'm

01:58     going to talk about a couple of

02:00     different stages of sleep and as far as

02:02     like where you are in your parenting so

02:04     you know early childhood is exhausting

02:07     i'm not going to lie

02:08     it's exhausting but i learned early on

02:11     that if i had if i co-slept then i could

02:14     get more sleep

02:16     that was that that was a trail that

02:17     worked for us we co-slept

02:19     we had five children we co-slept with

02:20     all of them and um

02:22     it was something that was super helpful

02:25     now it's interesting because i co-slept

02:26     with children with my ex-husband

02:28     and then i cuss up with children with

02:29     eric and

02:31     it was very new to eric you know we got

02:33     married and he was um we

02:35     were 32 and um

02:38     he'd never slept with a child before he

02:40     never had a child in the bed and so that

02:41     was that was new

02:43     um when super sam was born and so but

02:46     what's interesting is just how much

02:48     sleep we were able to get because of it

02:50     so i know that there are extenuating

02:52     circumstances for some families maybe

02:54     your child's got reflex and you have to

02:55     sit up to nurse or

02:56     you know there are other things but what

02:58     i want to tell you like really when i

03:00     want to get across

03:01     is this that point it's not forever it's

03:03     not forever

03:04     so what you have to do like the the

03:07     trick is when you're in those years is

03:09     to not

03:10     make those things habits so the the

03:13     struggles

03:14     you work through the struggle so when

03:16     parents say to me i have a child that

03:17     sleeps they have reflex and i go okay

03:19     what are you doing for the reflex well

03:20     nothing

03:21     no no no what are you doing for the

03:23     reflex have you been to the chiropractor

03:25     you talked to your pediatrician like

03:27     what are you doing are you

03:28     changing what you're eating like what

03:30     are the things that you're doing so

03:31     be proactive about this sleep thing

03:34     because it is vitally important the

03:37     sleep habits that you help a child form

03:39     will be the sleep habits that they have

03:41     when they're in their 40s

03:43     because it's really hard in 50s and

03:45     beyond

03:46     it's really hard to change sleep habits

03:48     once they've been set

03:49     if you're somebody who had sleep

03:50     struggles as a child and your parent

03:52     didn't help you sort of get through that

03:53     space

03:54     you're probably knowing what i'm saying

03:56     and you're like yes i have a dear friend

03:58     love her to pieces she is a mom of

04:02     three very busy young children and she's

04:05     a single mom

04:06     and she's had a struggle with insomnia

04:08     like her whole life

04:10     and she said she can count on one hand

04:12     the times that she slept eight hours

04:14     in a stretch and so that's like she's

04:17     continually trying to hack that space

04:19     continually trying to figure that out

04:21     because it should be a continual process

04:24     if you are struggling with that we want

04:26     to get you to a place where you have

04:27     restorative sleep

04:29     is not just about the space of being

04:32     able to be

04:33     present and show up but it's also about

04:35     your body and your health

04:37     so we know that the heart and the brain

04:39     do not function well

04:41     and are really struggling when you have

04:44     those issues when you're not sleeping

04:46     well

04:46     so i had a stroke six years ago and the

04:49     thing that like

04:50     tipped it over the edge was the fact

04:51     that i couldn't sleep

04:53     and there was probably a week where i

04:55     may have slept two hours total

04:57     and that was the week right before my

04:59     stroke and it landed me in the hospital

05:01     and then i slept for 30 hours without

05:03     waking up

05:04     i thought i was in a coma at first but

05:06     it wasn't i was just sleeping

05:09     everybody was worried about that i just

05:11     slept i slept for 30 hours straight

05:13     they did all these tests and i was

05:14     asleep the whole time so

05:17     you want to not do that you want to not

05:19     be in that space so what i want you to

05:21     know

05:21     is if you are struggling with sleep

05:23     right now what are you doing about it

05:25     does it matter mom or dad doesn't matter

05:27     which parent is watching this

05:29     what are you doing about your sleep

05:30     circles so if you're somebody who has

05:33     maybe your dad listening and you're like

05:34     well i've got i'm working shift work or

05:37     mom won't listening you're

05:38     working shift work and you're you're

05:39     only you know you're only home for

05:41     like a set time you've got to make sleep

05:44     your priority

05:45     so um you know one thing that i i say

05:48     and i'm pretty

05:49     tight about this your kids didn't ask to

05:52     be born into

05:53     into that situation so you have to make

05:56     it so that it works for your kids

05:58     so don't have yours your work time alter

06:01     their sleep time

06:03     because they really need it they really

06:04     need it a couple years ago i was

06:06     teaching at a conference and i had a mom

06:08     that said to me

06:10     and i'm not it's not always popular when

06:12     we have this discussion and it's totally

06:13     fine to disagree with me

06:15     it's fine i'm big girl i don't have to

06:17     have everybody agree with me

06:18     but i know what i'm saying here is right

06:21     she said to me she said i'm working

06:24     shift work my husband's working shift

06:25     work we're keeping the kids up so that

06:27     we can spend time with them i said stop

06:28     that

06:29     shame on you because the children need

06:31     their sleep

06:32     they didn't ask to be born into that and

06:34     what i i was a

06:36     conference i was teaching in northern

06:37     california she's like well this is what

06:38     i have to do to make ends meet i said i

06:39     get that

06:40     i get that and i understand that and i

06:42     honor that

06:44     but your kids don't need to be that they

06:46     didn't ask to be born

06:48     into that space so instead what you do

06:50     is you find

06:51     ways to keep their sleep sacred and also

06:54     get your sleep

06:55     and then have that family time on those

06:57     days off um you know

06:59     it's against a lot of work seven days a

07:00     week unless you're doing two different

07:02     jobs

07:03     so on those days off that's when you

07:05     like capitalize on that family time

07:07     the rest of the time you honor sleep so

07:10     honoring sleep will help you so so so

07:12     much

07:13     i know children that struggle with

07:14     school whether it be

07:16     reading struggles mathematics struggles

07:18     or just sitting still

07:19     it's worse when they're not sleeping

07:21     right so if you've got a child that's

07:22     got behavioral issues i want you to ask

07:24     yourself

07:25     are they sleeping enough so i'm going to

07:26     read you these guidelines these are from

07:28     the

07:28     sleep foundation it was a national sleep

07:32     foundation study

07:33     done in 2015 and i'm happy to link it

07:35     just let me know i'm happy to give you

07:37     the link to it i thought it was

07:38     really really interesting they changed a

07:40     few things but like really and truly

07:43     these

07:43     are the numbers the numbers right so

07:47     um newborn so that's zero to three

07:49     months

07:50     the the recommended is 14 to 17 hours

07:53     the

07:53     um it may be appropriate for it to be as

07:56     little as 11

07:58     and as much as 19 may be appropriate

08:01     but generally 14 to 17 hours infants

08:04     so 4 months to 11 months 12 to 15 hours

08:09     so it might be as appropriate to have as

08:11     little as 10

08:12     and as many as 18 but somewhere in

08:14     between there

08:15     toddlers so one and two-year-olds and

08:18     these are the ones that are like

08:20     they want to snuggle with you to go to

08:22     bed and then they want to nurse like 15

08:24     minutes

08:25     on and off all night long so i

08:28     i extended nursed all my kids but there

08:31     was a time where i was like nope no more

08:33     babies at night

08:34     because you need sleep and so do they

08:36     and it keeps them up and if they're

08:38     waking up for that it's not for

08:39     nutrition when they're a toddler

08:41     so toddlers 11 hours to 14 hours is

08:44     what's

08:44     recommended it says maybe appropriate

08:47     for as little as nine

08:49     and as many as 16. i would say nine is

08:52     not

08:53     enough for a toddler that's my

08:55     professional opinion

08:56     preschooler so it's the ages three to

08:58     five anywhere from

09:00     10 to 13 hours is what's recommended and

09:03     it says

09:04     9 hours to 14 hours could be or would

09:07     also

09:08     perhaps be appropriate for your child

09:10     school-age children

09:11     um which would be ages 6-13 would be 9

09:15     to 11 hours

09:16     and that's pretty i see that pretty

09:18     succinctly with

09:19     with my own children um right now it

09:22     says

09:23     maybe maybe um appropriate to have eight

09:26     to twelve hours like

09:27     that would be their gap um teenagers and

09:30     i think this is so interesting

09:32     um so teenagers being 14 to 17 years old

09:35     would be 10 or 8 to 10 hours as little

09:38     as 7

09:39     and as much as 11 would be their would

09:42     be their um

09:43     their window so not more than that so

09:45     yes we know that teenagers need more

09:46     sleep

09:47     they need as much sleep as these younger

09:49     children

09:50     um not as much as a newborn though

09:54     and so much happens when you can provide

09:56     a

09:57     an appropriate bedtime routine so that

09:59     everybody's on

10:00     a nice rhythm so young adults 18 to 25

10:03     would be anywhere from seven to nine

10:05     hours

10:05     as little as six and as many as eleven

10:08     um adults so that's where most of us are

10:11     right like most of us are in this place

10:13     26 to 64. so this space

10:17     seven to nine hours um it says

10:20     as little as six and as many as ten so

10:24     i would say with that i can rock six

10:27     hours

10:27     like two nights in a row when i was

10:29     younger before my stroke i could rock

10:30     six hours probably three nights in a row

10:32     and be all right

10:34     but then at some point you're like oh my

10:35     gosh i'm just gonna fall over

10:37     listen to your body go to bed when your

10:41     kids go to bed

10:42     many times i went to bed when they went

10:44     to bed so let's back up to where we

10:46     talked about at the beginning and sort

10:48     of like how you get this going

10:50     so you know in waldorfland it is popular

10:53     to light

10:53     14 candles sing 16 songs and do 10

10:56     stories

10:56     i'm just teasing a little bit but i want

10:59     to back you up on that because

11:01     light one candle say one verse or a

11:04     family prayer

11:06     one story and then maybe

11:09     we do an audio book we do sparkle

11:11     stories at night i love

11:12     sparklestories.com

11:14     the people over there are fantastic and

11:16     yeah

11:17     i absolutely love them so i would

11:20     definitely do a sparkle story they're

11:22     short they're age-appropriate their ages

11:25     run from three

11:27     two adults and a nice short story would

11:31     be appropriate

11:32     after you've done your bedtime routine

11:34     but

11:36     that should be done early early so

11:39     dinner is the runway for bedtime so

11:42     dinner really should be between five

11:43     and six i like between i like 5 30 is

11:46     the sweet spot

11:47     so that by 6 30 you're tidying up and

11:51     they're getting ready for bed

11:52     and maybe you and the other parent could

11:56     trade off like who's cleaning up

11:57     versus who is getting kids ready for bed

11:59     do not send them upstairs

12:02     and tell them to brush their teeth

12:03     without following up with them

12:06     follow them i'm going to come with you

12:08     or i'm going to give you

12:10     five minutes and then i'm going to come

12:11     and check on you and in that five

12:13     minutes at two minutes the two minute

12:14     mark you go okay are you teeth brushed

12:16     now

12:17     oh okay i see you're you're not ready

12:20     yet

12:20     um are you in your pajamas okay so

12:24     so that way when you come into the

12:25     bedroom and you're ready for this

12:27     this nighttime space it's quiet so

12:30     no loud media after dinner no unless

12:34     i mean if you're having a family movie

12:35     night maybe but that's not every night

12:38     it's not every night and it shouldn't be

12:40     for the really little ones

12:42     we really hone this bedtime space our

12:45     nine-year-old

12:45     she will be 10 in april um

12:49     she still goes to bed um by eight

12:54     and and that was actually we just when

12:57     she turned nine we let her stay up till

12:58     eight before that her bedtime was

12:59     between seven and seven thirty

13:01     so she's nine she goes to bed by eight

13:04     she usually sleeps until sometime

13:06     between six and seven

13:08     sometimes a little bit longer um even

13:11     if even if she didn't go to bed till

13:12     nine she's still getting up at the same

13:14     time

13:14     so that's the the the space that a lot

13:16     of parents think well

13:17     if i put them to bed later they'll sleep

13:19     longer generally no they don't

13:21     but one thing that i have noticed if you

13:24     put them to bed earlier

13:25     and you get that piece in there that 10

13:27     to 12 hours in there that they totally

13:30     totally need

13:31     they tend to sleep the same they're

13:33     generally not up any earlier

13:35     if they are it's not much they sleep the

13:37     same they act better

13:39     school goes better you don't feel like

13:41     you're losing your mind

13:43     everybody's peaceful so i want you to

13:47     take a look at your sleep with them

13:49     if it needs to tune up make it happen

13:51     remember you're the only one who can

13:53     make it happen

13:54     you are in stewardship of these children

13:57     and you can do this sometimes it's

13:59     frustrating but take a deep breath

14:01     you've got this see you next time


 Listen To Podcast Here


Listen to "Episode 191 - How To Get Better Sleep!!" on Spreaker.




Actual Rhythm Chart: click here

Free Resources: click here

Planning for Peace: click here

Biz Schooling: click here

Parents In Sync: click here 


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