My daughters are 6, 4 and 2-years-old. Bedtime is the antithesis of all of their little hopes and desires. And, due to my reliance on bad habits to get through the early stages of motherhood, only the third child has grasped the concept of going to sleep on her own. (I know, I know...)
Having turned 70, I know I am officially old. Granted, aging has slowed me down a bit. I walk slower, take longer to remember things, and have a harder time getting up from the floor when I play with my grandkids. But going to bed? Why has that become such a long process?
In honor of Father's Day, this post was going to be a collection of memories about how my dad had an impact on my bedtime ritual. It was huge -- for one thing, he got me to stop sucking my thumb by telling me I would end up looking like Bugs Bunny. I trusted him because he said I could keep my blankie -- just don't suck my thumb.
Be aware that a full moon may affect your and your children's sleep and mood. Knowing this can help you understand if your child acts out during the corresponding daytime. Sticking with healthy sleep and nutrition routines can help minimize the effects of the lunar cycle.
Maybe you've agreed to watch them during a coming school break, or maybe you're simply in the mood for extra-special quality time together. Either way, you find yourself thinking about taking a vacation with your grandkids -- without their parents (you know, your own kids?) -- and suddenly your next thought is, Can I handle that?
A very important part of improv is listening. I was reminded of this a while ago when my second child was only two years old. He was being fussy while I was changing his diaper. I asked him, “Is it hard being a little kid sometimes?” He said, “Yeah.” I asked, “What’s hard about being a little kid?” What he said stopped me in my tracks.
What you do in the hours before bed and when you do it can have an effect on how easy it is to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. It's often mentioned that adopting a consistent evening routine can help with insomnia, and research finds that certain habits like a warm bath and reducing screen time correlate with quality sleep.
Set yourself up for sleep success.
The next time you find yourself delaying going to bed, think about whether these physical, mental, or emotional barriers could be keeping you up. Then experiment until you find the solution that works for you.