Sleep is vital to health and well being. But like any healthy habit, knowing and doing are often at odds with each other. Not only do we need to teach our kids to sleep, we need to stay rested ourselves. It’s a tall order but very doable according to our featured expert.
On today’s show we have Kim West, also known as The Sleep Lady. Kim’s a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years. She is author of The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy and The Good Night Sleep Tight Workbook. Her sleep method, The Sleep Lady Shuffle, is a gentle, and customizable program for families. Kim believes good sleep habits and gentle sleep coaching build a positive parent-child attachment and encourage a strong bond.
Kim walks us through important sleep principles and what parents can do at each stage of development to teach their child (and themselves) key sleep skills. We touch on key challenges– night waking, nightmares, busy schedules — and refreshing ways of approaching them. As Kim says, “no problem is unfixable.” She reminds us to stay open minded, and to be kinder and gentler with ourselves, as we work towards our goal of a well-rested family.
Highlights from the Show
• Kim’s journey to becoming “The Sleep Lady”
• Important sleep principles such as coach vs. player, consistency, and the importance of individualizing advice
• How sleep is a learned skill and the basics on how to teach sleep to kids
• The three types of sleep training, and where The Sleep Lady Shuffle fits
• Co-sleeping safety guidelines and how to develop and maintain a secure attachment while sleep coaching your child
• The importance of circadian rhythm in sleep quality
• Blue light’s effect on melatonin production, and the role genes and hormones play in sleep
• Recognizing sleep as the one of the cornerstones of health
• Sleep challenges and resolution during infancy, toddlerhood, school-age/adolescence, and adulthood.
Sleep and Mindset (According to Kim)
Have an open mind. Be kinder and gentler to yourself as a parent….none of us are perfect. Each child is different…our job is to figure out who we have been given and how to best parent and support that child.
Thinking that you have tried everything and nothing will work. It’s ok to feel like that but remind yourself that it’s not true. Seeing yourself as a failure and thinking you should be able fix sleep problems yourself.
I’ll hold the light at the end of the tunnel until you can see it for yourself because I do have faith in children, and parents, in helping teach them in a loving, gentle way how to put themselves to and back to sleep — Kim West
Pertinent Show Links
Just Get Flux App (to decrease blue light)