If you do much reading about ways to live a healthier life, you’ll likely see five main themes:
-Get more exercise
-Drink more water
-Eat healthy, whole foods
-Manage your stress
-Get enough sleep
For me– and many other parents of young children– for as challenging as it is to find time and energy to accomplish the first four wellness items, the fifth is an elusive beast, always just out of the realm of possibility. Whether we have kids who are naturally bad sleepers or kids who have developed bad sleeping habits, getting good sleep on a regular basis is a mirage in the desert of parenthood.
(In an effort for full disclosure, I’ll admit that now that I’m on Bad Sleeper #3 I have to accept the possibility that I had a role in helping to establish these bad habits. Gulp.)
It is only when our Bad Sleepers turn a corner and start to improve their sleep habits that we can see just how much the months (years!!) of poor sleep has affected us. You see, for the past three weeks I have been working to improve The Stowaway’s sleep habits, and now that she has been taking a real nap and sleeping better at night, I am far more rested. I have been taking the opportunity to nap with her most days, and although it’s a trade-off for getting in a longer workout, it is totally worth it.
To feel well-rested gives me more energy. It also gives me much more patience, which is a key component to living in a 1500 square foot house for four weeks with your family of five and your in-laws. I think all of us are glad The Stowaway is sleeping better.
I can’t tempt fate and say I think this new state of being well-rested will be my new normal, but I sure am enjoying it while I can.