When people ask what I do, it’s often met with a stare and awkward curiosity. “You help kids to sleep?” — yes, and it’s the most amazing job in the world.
As a certified sleep consultant, I can tell you the research and very fundamental reason for the start of Thrive Global was as a result of the toxic things that happen to our body when it doesn’t get the sleep it needs & exactly what happened to Arianna Huffington. Study after study is concluding the same thing, lack of sleep is detrimental to our body, health, immune system, decision making ability and contributes to diabetes, obesity, mood swings, depression…..… and the list can go on and on.
The first thing people say when they find out you are expecting, is say goodbye to sleep for the next 18 years. I beg to differ on that, because sleep is a skill that a child learns how to do, just like crawling, walking or any of the 4,563 milestones they will have in their life. If the only way we teach our children to sleep is by doing something to get them there, then of course, that’s how they are going to believe they need to fall asleep. Then, once they make the transition to a toddler, this brand new world of a bed offers a new found freedom and limitless boundaries to see what is and is not acceptable in their day. A lot goes into how well a child sleeps. The structure of their day, their schedule, bedtimes and avoiding the most detrimental thing parents face when trying to help their kids sleep, the vicious cycle of overtired, leading to trouble settling, trouble staying asleep and often early morning wake-ups.
Somewhere in-between a newborn and a toddler is where I typically come in, rescuing couples and parents from the exhaustion, frustration, fighting and personal strains they are facing, as their child just won’t sleep and they don’t understand why or how to make them stop waking.
As a pediatric sleep professional, I trained under one of the top specialists in the world on sleep education. I studied to become a Certified Lactation Counselor and Post-Partum Doula, in addition to countless certifications that have enabled me to become an expert in the field of all things children sleep. The truth is, all kids can sleep, including yours, you just need someone like me to help put the jigsaw puzzle together and teach you how it all works together.
So I have compiled the top 3 reasons why a sleep consultant is the right choice for you to get back the sleep that makes you and your child perform at their very best. Recently, Jeff Bezos discussed the need to get 8 hours of sleep a night to ensure he was not making poor business decisions at the office. I have been trying to read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, but find that when I hop into bed at 9pm, by 9:15pm I am tired and look forward to getting to sleep, knowing that the sleep is more important than reading about it. I am getting there, but I take the importance to heart, sleep is amazing. So here are my top 3 reasons why families come searching for my help and how I can help your family too.
Reason #1: Your Kids are Up Several Times a Night. In my experience, from about 6 months on, it’s safe to say that most kids can and should be capable of sleeping a solid 11-12 hours a night, depending on their age. When kids are up, so are parents and often, many resort to doing whatever they have to in order to get through that night and the next day with some semblance of sanity. Those “things” become the prop your child wants to get back to sleep. Notice I said ‘wants’ not ‘needs’ here? When they fall asleep in some way other than independently and they wake through the night, they rely on whatever that is to get back to bed. That habit is what they know and what they believe to need and parents do their best because they just don’t know what else to do and don’t realize help is out there. Think about the last time you won’t up from a broken night of sleep. How did you feel? Terrible right? That is how your children feel too, they most often times just can’t express it.
Reason #2: Your Performance at Work is Suffering. I have worked with CEO’s of major companies, CEO’s of the house, major sports team members and professionals across various industries — and every job is critical and sometimes a lack of sleep can be a danger not only for yourself but for others. A recent client I began working with is a pilot and there were concerns about their lack of sleep and the long flights that they were on with planes full of passengers. Would you want to be on that flight? All jobs require focus and attention to be performed their best and sleep helps us do that. Don’t jeopardize what you have worked for to provide for your family.
Reason #3: Your Marriage is Suffering. Kids are HARD work. I have two myself, Max, 4 and Sovella, 2 and let me tell you. Working full-time, caring for a house, kids, coaching sports, managing everything that goes into it and still trying to find time for self-care and sleep, it’s tough. I have starting saying no to things, to preserve and protect what limited time I do have. My husband and I do a great job at splitting up responsibilities, communicating when we need help or when something is no longer working. We try to have some alone time and schedule the occasional date night out, because it’s important to keep that connection. We have to work at it, like everyone. My close friend Sarah recently told me of an experience she had at the airport with an order married couple, who said, “Marriage is a highway with no exits. Sometimes you get a flat tire or the car breaks down. You just have to work together to repair it and keep moving.” A child sleeping in your bed or waking several times a night still may work for some families and that is a OK. If it’s working for you, then keep on at it. If it’s not working and you are noticing a struggle here, help is available and it can mend the suffering of your marriage and get your child resting and perform too at their best.
Chances are that you have read a few books on the topic, or even received some advice from a friend, a Facebook group or a co-worker and chances are, it didn’t work. That is because sleep is complicated and every child has different things going on that you may not even have realized are contributing to their sleep challenges. If it was that easy, every child would sleep every night. Working with a sleep consultant is not a luxury, it’s a need. Selecting the right one and understand their style, approach and support is going to be crucial. I have seen some terrible ones out there, so be sure to do your research on who you are working with, their success and what you can expect from them in support. Take back control of your sleep and give your children that most amazing gift — sleep. It’s so crucial for them and for you.