Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
23
How to Motivate a Parent
April 19, 2021

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

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Introduction

A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial. I will post specific information for parents and children based on my book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Please do not be put off by my book’s length. This is a reference book. Read only the topic of interest to you.

Blog 23How to Motivate a Parent

HOW TO MOTIVATE A PARENT TO HELP THEIR CHILD SLEEP BETTER

Mothers spend more time at night caring for their child than fathers. Some mothers do all the bedtime and overnight care in order to protect the father’s sleep in order for him to work during the day, or they believe that the father cannot do this care as well as they do, or the father does not want to help care for the child at bedtime or overnight. There are many reasons why parents might not work together as a team regarding helping a child sleep well (Blog Posts 17 and 18) but a common situation is that the mother sees the development of drowsy signs in the late afternoon and wants an earlier bedtime (Blog Post 7), but the father coming home in the evening is not cooperative. Alternatively, a father might want to slightly delay nighttime responses to nondistress sounds from their child (Blog Post 11), but the mother is not cooperative.

If one parent wants to help their child sleep better but the other parent is reluctant to make changes, there is the potential for increased family stress. Perhaps a consultation with a professional will be needed to help resolve the conflict. Here are some facts that might help motivate a parent to make a change that results in better sleep for their child:

1. More sleep for your child will make your child healthier, stronger, smarter, happier, and more successful

Based on the United States of America Department of the Army (Blog Posts 1 through 5):

Sleep readiness underpins a Soldier’s [Child’s] ability to accomplish the mission and continue to fight and win [Succeed in life]. Think of sleep as an item of logistical resupply, like beans and bullets and plan accordingly. Sleep is essential to health and readiness. Sleep makes Soldiers [Children] better Soldiers [Children]. As sleep duration increases, so does the likelihood of mission success. The goal in all operational scenarios [Home, School, Playground] should always be to maximize sleep duration because more sleep always results in greater alertness, resilience, and mental activity-greater readiness. Sleep is a force multiplier. Insufficient sleep degrades the brain’s function.  

Sleep is necessary:

  • To sustain higher order cognitive abilities such as judgement, decision making, and situational awareness. More sleep can result in even better mental acuity. 
  • More sleep results in greater brain readiness-enhanced mental sharpness and resilience in the field. Sleep is crucial for tissue repair and hormone synthesis to maintain peak performance mentally and physically [Smarter and Stronger] Sleep sustains brain and physical health, cognition, the immune system, and recovery after physical activity.
  • The more sleep Soldiers [Children] get, the faster response times, fewer errors, and fewer lapses in attention. Also improved are judgement, problem-solving, situational awareness, mood [Happier], and general well-being.
  • The relationship between sleep duration and cognitive readiness (and thus military effectiveness) is best thought of as a continuum, with more sleep always producing improved performance.

Effective leaders [Parents] consider sleep an item of logistical resupply like water, food, fuel, and ammunition. 

The brain is the only organ or body part that requires sleep. The brain requires sleep to maintain normal function. The brain has a physiological need for sleep, and sleep promotes the ability to think and maintain mental toughness. And the more sleep, the better it functions.

Fact

A Healthy Child needs a Healthy Brain,

A Healthy Brain needs Healthy Sleep.

Question

In a Developing Baby, does

Unhealthy Sleep causes Brain Damage?

Get More Sleep for your child by Going To Bed Earlier

“Soldiers [Children] best get more sleep by going to bed earlier because awakening at the same time each morning helps to sustain and strengthen the brain’s alertness.

2. An Earlier Bedtime, only 20-30 minutes earlier, may produce dramatic improvement.

  • Teaching children about how and why to sleep resulted in 18 minutes of extra sleep caused improvement in grades for mathematics and languages.
  • Parent-set bedtimes on weekdays caused teenagers to have 19 minutes of extra sleep which produced improved daytime functioning, improved emotional regulation, and a reduced risk for psychopathology.
  • Experimentally adding one hour of sleep over five nights produced 27 minutes of extra sleep which resulted in improvement of emotional lability and restless-impulsive behavior and reduced daytime sleepiness. Restricting sleep one hour over five nights resulted in more irritability and frustration and difficulty in the modulation of impulse and emotion.

3. An Early Bedtime will make your child taller and slimmer.

  • Growth hormone is released mostly during sleep especially early in the evening during the first period of deep sleep.
  • Short sleep duration at age 3 months predicted short body length at 1-2 years.
  • Long night sleep duration at age 6 months predicted lower weight to length ratio.  Your child will be slimmer. When short night sleep occurs, long naps may occur but long naps do not compensate for short night sleep.
  • Among 17-year-olds, those with less sleep and later bedtimes were about one inch shorter.

4. An Early Bedtime will make your child a better athlete.

  • College basketball players showed enhanced performance with faster-timed sprint, free throw percentage, and three-point field goal percentage with experimental sleep extension.
  • College tennis players showed impaired serving accuracy with experimental sleep restriction.
  • Soccer players showed impaired kicking skills with experimental sleep restriction.
  • Longer sleep durations improve athletic performance regarding reaction times, accuracy, and endurance.

5. An Early Bedtime Helps Produce:

  • Less crying at sleep onset.
  • Less time between being put down and falling asleep.
  • Fewer night awakenings.
  • Briefer night awakenings.
  • Less crying during the night.
  • Longer and more regular naps

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An early bedtime may prevent sleep problems from developing in the first place. A slightly earlier bedtime alone might completely or partially solve a sleep problem.
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To repeat, after your child has fallen asleep at night, your child, while asleep, or after waking, may make non-distress sounds. What are non-distress sounds and why do they occur? I am talking about harmless sounds that all babies make, that do not indicate distress and, if you feel comfortable, can usually be safely ignored.
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Fathers and Mothers

A higher involvement of fathers in infant care was associated with fewer infant night-awakenings. Perhaps because fathers in general may endorse a higher degree of limit-setting approach that encourages infants to self-soothe.
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Teamwork

Coparenting is the manner in which parents work together to raise their children. Within the context of specific family differences, to achieve healthy sleep for your child, focus on teamwork. Coparenting quality may be evaluated by asking parents to report on how they see their partner as a coparent regarding positive features.
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