The Gift of Falling Asleep Anywhere
It’s all too common for us adults to hold onto a little bit of jealousy when our kids showcase their superpower- the ability to sleep anywhere, anytime. From the crooked neck, sitting up straight in the back of the car, to the “I wanna sleep on the floor tonight” statements, and even the popular face down at the dinner table. No matter the time or the place, our kids can take a quick nap to recharge! Oh, what I would give to take a quick 30 minute nap on my desk at work without waking up to a misconfigured spine and an expensive chiropractic bill.
I sat down with the owner of The Mattress Hub, Ryan Baty, as I was shopping for a new mattress for my child. Ryan showed me around the store and chatted with me about the importance of good sleep for our kids. Here’s what I learned.
5 Stages of Sleep
Our kids can sleep from anywhere and when our kids are in their awesome super power positions, they engage in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of sleep. But wait, what does this mean? What I learned was that there are 5 stages of sleep that all humans cycle through. Stage 1 & Stage 2 are the light phases of sleep. These stages are the times when you might be easily awakened by a lamp turning on. For kids, this is the stage where fighting sleep happens. The exciting feeling of “Finally, he’s down for a nap” to the let down when they begin to fuss again even with their eyes closed. (I see you, I hear you, I feel for you mama).
Stages 3-5 are where the magic happens in the sleep cycle. For the sake of time (aka a movie will only hold my two boys for so long), let’s focus on stage 4 & stage 5 of sleep. These stages are crucial for our kids mental & physical health. In these stages, growth hormones are activated. Without adequate sleep, growth in our kids can be inhibited. In addition to physical growth being stunted, mental health can be affected. Growth hormone occurs at night when our kids are in their deepest stages of sleep. Whether that’s in their beds or my husband and I’s bed (this topic is grounds for a separate blog), growth hormone is at its peak during nighttime.
When the clock turns 7, and bedtime is around the corner, our kids need to be set up for success. A comfortable sleep environment is key. Optimal temperatures, limited caffeine intake before bed, and a comfortable sleep service sets our kids up for a good nights sleep. Although I will continue to admire my child for his creative day time sleep positions, I know that his nighttime sleep schedule and environment is crucial. You can shop my top 3 kid-exclusive beds here.