Moms and Dads, Get Some Sleep
“Mom, can you read just a little bit longer?”
“Not tonight, honey.”
“But why?! (insert whine) I know. I know…you’re tired.”
I am tired. I’m a working parent and I’m tired a lot. This frequent conversation troubles me as a parent. It breaks my heart that quality time with my children suffers because of something as simple as sleep. But is sleep really simple? It should be – your body is tired, your brain is tired, you fall asleep. But if my social media feed is any indication, there is a whole lot of insomnia going around the parenting community. Mostly moms (and some dads) are up at all hours of the night, checking in on social media, sending emails, watching Netflix. I know because I’ve been there with them. And the worst part is the recurring voice in my head saying, “Tomorrow is going to be awful if I don’t get some sleep. How am I going to concentrate at work? Will I catch a break from my kids with an easy bedtime?” And on and on.
The Cost of Sleep Deprivation for Working Parents
A new sleep study by the Horizons Worksforce Consulting team at Bright Horizons reveals some eye-opening facts about the cost of sleep deprivation. Findings show that 60% of working adults reveal that they don’t get enough sleep at night to awaken refreshed and poor sleepers say they are six times more likely to feel as if they can’t meet work requirements. Then, imagine these same workers as parents who want to engage with their kids after work. It’s physically impossible.
For those nights when I don’t get enough sleep, I find myself rushing through the routine, often getting impatient with the kids and not enjoying a single second of the few hours I actually can spend with them during the work week. And it’s markedly opposite on those days I squeeze in a good night’s sleep. I’m patient. I’m flexible. I’m engaged. I feel like a successful parent.
It’s not easy but I’m realizing the importance of prioritizing sleep – for my health and the healthy relationship I’m building with my kids. I’m pledging today, as a working mom, to get some sleep. Now, where is my favorite pillow?
- Parent Webinars: Good Nights, Great Days – How to Help the Whole Family Get Some Sleep
- Tips to Help Improve Sleep: Advice for busy moms and dads from a certified health coach
- Need advice on sleep? Post a question in the Bright Horizons Online Community
- Read more posts about sleep and posts about working parents from the Family Room bloggers