Bedtime is my most cherished and trying time of day. I love cuddling in a chair with my kids and reading that extra chapter. But the bedtime period is tough, not just because I'm exhausted, but because I know that creeping bedtimes directly impact the health and development of my growing children.
Ah, sleep: is there anything quite like it? So easily discarded and discounted when nighttime attractions present themselves and yet so dearly missed and pined after the next morning. So how do you get one? What would a day of optimal sleep promotion look like?
Inspired by a school assignment, I wrote my daughter a story. A short, sweet, rhyming bedtime tale about dreams and adventure. It was our evening closure. Although she would have never remembered, or held me to it, I promised I would make that story into a book.
I expect we will see a great deal more investigation into the effects of blue wavelength light on sleep and health. But you don't need special goggles or eye lens implants to protect your circadian rhythms and your sleep from the negative effects of artificial light.
Every evening around 7:15pm my children look at me with sad disappointed eyes. Eyes which say: "How could you?" "Why do you hate us?" and "I'll never be happy again." And all I did was say, "It's time to get ready for bed."
Before I put him to bed, he drapes himself around me like a spider monkey and pulls his little hands through my hair. He kisses me and smiles right into my eyes, and it's at that second that I take a mental picture. Snap. Don't forget this moment. Snap.
There's nothing quite as refreshing as a great night's sleep to help us recover from our day and restore our energy. When children have trouble sleeping, it impacts not only their sleep (and mood), but their weary parents'.