Sleep is often a hot topic in a house with children. As parents, we dedicate our time to make sure children get adequate but also quality sleep, because we know it affects how they feel and behave. Yet do we make sure we get quality sleep and recognise the influence that sleep has on our own behaviour and capacity to deal with whatever presents in our day?
The more likely scenario is that we work hard to make sure they get a quality rest-full night's sleep and forget that all that focus can stop us from having a quality rest-full night's sleep too. If we are honest, we are more likely to blame someone else for our lack of sleep - there was so much to get done; the dogs were barking next door; my partner was tossing and turning all night; it was too hot; the baby kept waking in the night; the children were playing up.
Regardless of how justified the ‘reasons’ for the lack of sleep are, the outcome is often the same - difficulty waking in the morning and getting more tired as the day goes on, low mood, grumpiness, nagging depression and escalation in conflict within the family.
Do we ever consider how we collude to make these things happen – that a good or bad night's sleep doesn’t just ‘happen’ to us?
Like everything synonymous with ‘quality’, we are a major player in our experiences, whether we get a quality night's sleep or not, the blaming of others is simply an excuse to not take responsibility for our own self-sabotage.
If that seems blunt, what kind of role model are we if we are not prepared to consider our own health and wellbeing as valuable?
Waking tired feels like driving through the day with the handbrake on.
Living like that takes much more energy and needs so much more effort just to seemingly keep up. So, what if we considered the quality of body we take to our bed at night and how we have looked after that body in the day to ensure we are not a zombie running on empty and then crashing into sleep at the end of the day…only to do it on the rinse and repeat cycle. We could role-model for our children how to truly embrace the deep rest that comes from quality sleep.
Quality sleep is foundational for a quality day. How much we are prepared to embrace it?