I've been helping babies sleep because it helps adults sleep. Now I'm certified to help the big kids, too!
The other day I was remembering the first time my college roommate sat down at the computer and told me she was simply going to stay up all night to finish her paper for class the next day. I had heard of people pulling all-nighters but I knew that anything I produced in the wee hours of the morning would be useless, so I had never actually considered this as an option. Sure enough, when I woke in the morning she was bleary eyed but feeling accomplished. I was in awe. To this day, I have never stayed up all night to write a paper or finish a project.
I HAVE stayed up all night dancing then watched the sunrise with friends. I have caught up with long time friends into the wee hours and then headed to an all night diner for breakfast at 4:30 am. I have taken sleepless red-eye flights. As a doula I have supported moms whose labor lasted all night, and took a cab home because I feared I would fall asleep driving and crash my car.
I have woken countless nights after 4 hours of sleep to see the the clock flashing 3 am. My heart began pounding in my chest because I knew I would stare sleeplessly at that clock until my alarm went off at 5:45am. For months (that seemed like years) this pattern worsened until I was miserable and begged my doctor to just drug me so that I could sleep. She did. It worked. And every morning I dragged myself out of bed and tried to shake off the heavy feeling of what I jokingly called "my horse tranquilizers". I was just grateful that I was unconscious for 8 solid hours each night, and I never questioned the side-affects or damage this course of action may be causing. Eventually I forgot my medication on a trip and never used it again - inexplicably, I slept like a baby without them.
Sleep seems to be the subject of endless study and debate. With all our science we know how very vital sleep is, but we still cannot pinpoint why exactly we need it, and what precise purpose it serves. For those who struggle with sleep it becomes a major problem that is difficult to solve with just one answer or solution. Why? Because sleep is so absolutely necessary for us to function. Not just intellectually, but physically and emotionally as well. When our needs for sleep our not met, our bodies produce more stress hormone, and stress causes less sleep. Which makes our sleep debt even more daunting and our problem solving abilities begin to tank.
News headlines warn of the problems our tired society experiences as the amount and quality of our sleep decline due to stress and environmental factors. Science shows us that sleep deprivations takes it's toll on the brain, our psychology, our productivity, our sex lives, and our ability to be the parents we want to be.
As an exhausted mom I began to think that committing myself to a mental institution was the only way I could survive: my body, mind, and emotions were so deeply affected by my inability to sleep with a restless infant. Once I found a Sleep Sense consultant and taught my child to sleep confidently, I became fascinated with sleep and how it affects us.
Changing adult sleep habits is much more complicated than kids. Adults need much longer sleep plans and for me to support them - and hold them accountable - for a full month as they make step by step changes and see small improvements over weeks. Babies create new habits in days, hours even. Adults must change multiple aspects of their lives and patterns in order to have lasting healthy sleep habits.
I invite you to check out the information on my Adult Sleep Program if you or someone you know struggles with sleep in any way. I offer a free consultation to anyone curious about an adult sleep plan and what it looks like to be supported in the process of achieving the sleep you need, naturally.