How lucky am I? This week’s blog post is from a special guest writer, my husband. I think you’ll enjoy his style and his insights. Brook
I was at the doctor’s office this week for a routine visit and there on the table in the waiting room was the October edition of Scientific American magazine with an inviting article on “sleep discoveries.”
Naturally given my spouse’s work I picked it up and read it. It’s a good article and I commend it to you (actually everything in it I already knew given my devoted reading of Sleepytime Club blog posts.)
But I’m getting to my point: as I returned the magazine back to the table I lay it alongside yet another periodical with “sleep” as the inviting byline.
I don’t need to convince any reader of this blog that sleep has arrived as the topic du jour.
I mentioned this to my doctor as we ended our visit and his casual remark was the ponderable thought on the drive home. He asked, “What would you say is the sleep rhythm in your house?”
Up until now I had filed good sleep habits away as separate categories for me, our children and my wife. We all thought it was a good idea and one to strive for when we didn’t work late or there wasn’t a late night ball game.
Now I considered the deeper issue for the household. What did that mean?
In practical terms it meant the ritual of my locking the front door before we go to bed but as I lingered on that routine I thought of how that schedule varied particularly during football season when some televised games ended well past eleven o’clock. My doctor’s casual remark spoke to that.
Now, I’m not contemplating a new abstinence from late night sports or other entertainments but I am asking you to join me in a review of the impact of how such erratic programming can play havoc with not only your own sleep schedule but that of the family.
I have to say the subtlety of this can slide by very easily. Indeed, how could an occasional late night TV binge affect my family? That, you and I need to assess from some distance, and candidly.
It presents some deeper issues like what entity is really in control of my family’s time? And, how high-functioning am I on weekends when I let my hair down and watch that extra show particularly when I greet my eager child the next morning?
If I can re-portray what my doctor said to me: what is the functioning level of your household?
As adults we can absorb an hour or two of occasional delayed sleep schedule and that can accommodate nighttime recreation. But we parents should be advised and not be naïve that such patterns can easily become routine and then that precious family sleep rhythm can wobble and be disabled.
Dr. Lisa Miller in her new book, The Spiritual Child, describes how a child is innately a “knower.” Surely, you’ve noticed this too, your child sometimes perceives what’s going on without giving words or voice to it.
How is it we can take such care to tuck in the kids at night for a satisfying night’s sleep and then shun it for ourselves? When we drag around the next day craving a nap – little eyes are watching and wondering.