In this week’s episode of Voices of Your Village, I’m chatting all about sleep and why sleep is so crucial not only for our health as parents and caregivers but also for the health of our tiny humans! Sleep gives your heart and blood vessels a break. It is the time when the body can slow down enough to repair and heal. While we sleep, the chemicals flowing in our bodies strengthen and fortify the immune system. It’s when your body recharges and refuels. Sleep is also the time when your brain clears out unnecessary information that you don’t need to remember and stores things into long term memory that you do want to remember.
I also dive into the different phases of sleep. There are four phases of sleep: N1, N2, N3, and REM. N1 is light sleep and we move deeper as we go into N2 and N3. In phases N1-N3, this is when our bodies are slowing down and doing all of that repair work. Our heart rates slow, our blood pressure goes down and our body focuses on rest and repair. This is why I don’t recommend implementing sleep strategies when kiddos are sick. When you’re fighting an illness, your body needs all the sleep. So I recommend supporting kiddos in whatever way they need to get the most restorative sleep when they are sick. Then when they are healthy you can start or return to a sleep strategy.
REM sleep is a whole different ball game. REM sleep is when dreams happen. The heart rate picks back up, blood pressure goes back up and the brain goes into a more active state. To protect us from acting out our dreams and possibly getting injured, the body is almost paralyzed during REM. When you wake up you’re coming out of REM.
It’s important to note that when I’m looking at sleep, I’m not looking at it just in terms of hitting a milestone or whether or not a kiddo “should” be sleeping through the night. I’m looking at it through the lens of it being vital for health and development. Although it can be really hard to make sleep changes, it’s truly a gift for our kiddos to teach them how to sleep through the night and get that deep, restorative rest that their bodies and brains need. And you don’t have to be an expert. That’s where your village comes in.
Right now is the perfect time to tap into our sleep village because Awake Kiddos, Snoozy Parents is live. You can snag this amazing resource to get to the root of your child’s sleep challenge, get lifetime access for all ages/stages/kiddos to come, and get support from our sleep team on this journey! Check it out here!