Last updated on April 5th, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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6 Tips for Getting Quality SleepAs you probably know by now, I am passionate about sleep and I love helping moms and dads with sleep coaching their babies so that these little ones can gain the incredibly important life skill of learning how to sleep on their own.

Although my work is primarily focused on babies and sleep, I believe a good night’s sleep is essential for all ages from infancy to adulthood.

In recognition of The National Sleep Foundation’s annual Sleep Awareness Week, I have put together a list with links to some of my favorite articles to help you and your family get quality sleep each night.

Learn Ten Ways to Get Quality Sleep (Hours of Sleep, That is!)

Most adults don’t get nearly the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. Really, sleep deprivation has become a global epidemic. So how do you begin to get the 8 hours of sleep your body and mind so desperately need?

Start with a routine, find some strategies that help you to wind down, make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep, and don’t go to bed on a full stomach! Reconsider the nap too. It’s not just for babies!

Don’t Feel Guilty About “Babying” Yourself When it Comes to Sleep

Too often we do for our children and others and neglect our own needs. This is especially true when it comes to healthy sleep. As parents we have conditioned ourselves to exist on very little sleep and we have developed the innate ability to wake at the slightest noise (or lack of noise) coming from our child’s room.

It’s time to take back your sleep, and I am giving you permission to start babying yourself when it comes to getting the sleep you need! You will find your mood lifted, your mind clearer, and your ability to parent even better than before.

Make Sleep a Family Affair

We all know that people need sleep, but why is it so important? Well for one thing, it is the time that the body and mind go through amazing physiological processes-real, quality sleep.

Baby having mom's careThis is called “restorative” or “quality” sleep and it’s something that is necessary for all ages from infants to adults. Talk with your family about the importance of sleep and decide to make sleep a family priority.

Explain to your children about the benefits of sleep and make sure you have a soothing bedtime routine for everyone in your home. You and your children will feel healthier, happier, and even smarter when you are getting enough sleep.

Know the Facts About Sleep Deprivation and The Science of Sleep

Did you know that sleep deprivation may be at the root of some catastrophic events?   Scary but true, a lack of sleep can be blamed for traffic accidents, lowered workplace productivity, medical mistakes, and high profile disasters. So many of us are in this “sleep drunk” state that we don’t realize the toll it is really taking on us and those around us.

It helps to understand the science of sleep and what exactly happens to our bodies and minds while we are sleeping. If we understand what happens when we sleep and its vital role in our health then perhaps it will help us to prioritize it in our own lives.

Win the Battle Against Insomnia Without Medication

Perhaps you are like many parents who have worked hard to successfully sleep train your children, but in the meantime, your own sleeping has taken a beating! Do you toss and turn with your mind racing instead of getting those much needed “ZZZs?”

If you are having trouble getting more than three days of restful sleep each week for a period of three out of four weeks, then you have what is considered insomnia. While there might be a pharmacological treatment for insomnia, there are also some medication free solutions to help you get the rest you need.

These solutions are great for adults and children alike, so get ready to put up your dukes, fight insomnia, and take back your sleep!

Pay Back Your “Sleep Debt”

Just like we may have debt to pay in the form of the monthly mortgage payment or the car loan, we also accumulate sleep debt. I know this sounds awful and actually quite depressing since sleep debt accumulates from the many days, weeks, and months, we skimp out on getting the recommended average of 8 or more hours of sleep per night for an adult.

To make matters worse, it has been shown in a study that mother’s suffering from a slept debt actually retain more postpartum weight than mothers who get enough sleep. All the more reason to start paying back your sleep debt!
So how do you pay back your sleep debt, especially when you still have a little one (or more) who don’t always go to sleep when they’re supposed to? Check out this article to learn the surprisingly simple answers.

Need even more help with sleep? You’re in luck! It’s National Sleep Week, and I’m giving away an awesome sleep package on my Facebook Page. Entry is easy!

Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!