Sleep | Day Seven

I yawn as I type this -- it is 4:53am and my two year old is splashing in a tub of bubbles. It’s early, yes, but he went to bed early, so I should expect it. Although yesterday morning he slept until six thirty. You just never know. So you give them the best possible chances for sleep and happiness -- early to bed, early to rise, makes us healthy, wealthy and wise.

Sleep makes children happy.

When my kids are tired, everything is a major crisis. Their “strings” are short. Their list of complaints is long. I’d much rather work hard to give them the sleep they need than empty my reservoir of energy dealing with the problems resulting from sleep deprivation.

Ever heard of the term "upcited" {upset and excited smashed together}? This article discusses how children may not show tiredness the way an adult might. Adrenaline and cortisol begin to pump through their little bodies when they don't get adequate sleep, making them appear "wired". But really -- they're tired. Someone needs to write a children's book about this. ;p What would you title it?

Preschoolers need between 10-12 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period to highly function.
Toddlers need between 12-14 hours.
And babies, of course, need even more.

So we, as parents, need to make sleep more desirable {I can certainly model that *yawn*} and give them every opportunity {quiet time in the schedule, dark, quiet room, early bedtime} to get enough of it.

Your reward? Less drama. Fewer meltdowns. Happier children. 

Click here to read the rest of the posts in the series, 31 Days to Happier Children.