Food For Thought Friday: Sleep Matters

I have to say that I don't think sleep gets the praise it should.  In a culture that seems to value productivity and connectedness at the expense of sleep, I'm afraid that we are becoming of the opinion that sleep somehow is synonymous with laziness.  I had a coworker once who told me I was lazy because I took a 45 minute afternoon nap every day.  I was pretty sure she wasn't the only person who thought that way, and that told me everything I needed to know about how our culture values sleep.  My fear is that we will begin to ascribe this "cultural value" to our children.

Sleep, in my opinion, is the key to world peace.  People can't get along? They probably need more sleep.  Feeling sick or in pain? You probably need more sleep. Indecisive? Sleep on it. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that sleep is definitely the key to Lindstrom peace.  It's one of the ways we try to maintain the delicate balance of happiness in our house.  When the human cannonball is more cannonball-y than usual, we immediately prescribe a nap.  When the Twinstroms are acting a little more "two" than usual, they go off to bed for a good long snooze.  Sleep does amazing things.

The most amazing thing about sleep is that getting more sleep doesn't rob your children of more sleep later.  Sleep begets sleep.  The more they get, the more they'll get (up to a point).  So, it pays to have a working knowledge of what those sleep recommendations are for each age group.

How is the sleep situation at your house?

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  1. Sleep makes the world go round in our house. Many people in my life think that I am harsh about bedtime/naptime, but they aren't around my kids when they don't get enough sleep. I value sleep over food!

  2. Growing up, my mother's answer to anything from crying fits to a cranial injury was, "you probably need to get some sleep." I think she was generally right. Now as an adult with mild insomnia, I value sleep like gold. The more of it I can get the better and encourage others to get as much of it as they can as well. But in my younger, less-wise days, I definitely subscribed to that sleep=laziness fallacy.

  3. Agree. The world needs more sleep. Our house clearly does not get enough most days. We seem to have a problem falling asleep (all four of us) but once we are asleep, its hard for all four of us to "get going" without massive amounts of caffeine (for us parents) and lots of sugary juice for our kids. If it was up to me, we would all take a siesta daily!

  4. Amen sister! I love a good nap! I do however feel guilty and sometimes overly defend the nap. I have to remind myself that I work part time. Plus Im a grown ass woman, I can do what I want!

  5. I miss my naps. I used to take an afternoon nap if I had the opportunity. Since I quit smoking I cannot nap because I am not tired. I realize that that means I am more well rested and healthier but I miss my naps! Napping was a way to deal with stress. I could forget about everything for a little while. I haven't found anything else to replace that.

  6. Yes, sleep is very important in our house. I was often criticized when my son's bedtime was at 6 pm - everyone thought it was too early (it's now later, between 6:30 and 7). I didn't care because anytime we tried to change it, we had terrible results. He sleeps like a champ. Everyone says he's such a happy child and I truly believe it's because he gets so much sleep!

    I have to admit that I am struggling now with our second child and trying to get her to sleep as much as her brother. It's been really stressing me out, but I know how important sleep is for her and I am determined to make it work!

  7. I am a napper. Always have been. My freshman college roommate and I got along so well because we both napped a little in the afternoon and went to bed around the same time (most!) nights.

    I have passed that love of napping down to my children. They were both good nappers. Even now (as they are 7 and 10) I will occasionally make them nap if they are getting their crankipants on! My daughter (age 7) really needs a nap still.

    And...when they were babies - they would take 1-2 hour naps during the day and still go to bed at 8 PM without trouble!

    However, since they are older and resist napping as it is too babyish. I will often tell them to rest or read....and momma takes a nap. When momma takes a nap, she can get her own crankipants under control and finds the ability to deal with others on a much calmer level!

    Viva la nap!


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