May 2, 2017

I Sleep to... Make Sure My Kids Have Everything

Or I guess you could say I DON'T sleep to make sure my kids have everything.

Like most parents, sleep has been an issue since the kids were born. I think that last time I got a full nights rest is the day my oldest son came home from the hospital after being born. Stupid me thought that he slept through the night and of course my wife looked at me like she wanted to kill me. Turns out he was up half the night and I just didn't hear him. I guess I was a pretty sound sleeper.

But things changed since that day.

While my wife did get up in the middle of the night more than I did (she was breastfeeding after all), I have had my share of sleep interruptions over the years. The kids always seemed to need something in the middle of the night, whether it's water, they need to pee, or they just need you to be by their side.  They are much more independent now, but I think the years of constant waking have really taken it's toll on me.

There was a point when they were both really little that my wife and I decided that I would take an early morning shift at work.  Out of bed at 1:00 am to be at work by 2:00 was probably the worst thing that I ever did to my body. For six years I seemed to function (or not function) on around four hours of sleep per night. It's easy to say that you will go to bed at 7:00 every night, but the reality is I just never could get to sleep before the kids did. Not to mention, in the summer it's just not natural to go to bed before the sun went down.

Eventually I quit that job to be a stay at home dad. While I would like to say that my sleeping habits improved, they really didn't. I went from getting around four hours of sleep per night to around six; much of that was my own doing though. I would stay up late blogging, watching TV, or folding laundry. The night time was my me time.

But even that took a toll.

I'm getting a little better now. As you can probably notice I don't blog as much as I used to, but I still stay up late watching TV. Most of the time though, I fall asleep in the middle of a show and wake up around 2:00 in the morning. I then drag my butt upstairs and plop down on my bed to finish off another crappy night of sleep.

It wasn't until I was sent a Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor that I really started to notice how little sleep I was getting. After downloading the App and taking the 15 minutes to get the product hooked up and connected to my homes WiFi, I could now monitor my sleep, or lack there of.  I have tried various wearable devices over the years, but I always found them uncomfortable. Not surprisingly, I could never get a good nights sleep wearing one.  The difference with the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor is that it includes a sensor that slips between your mattress and frame so you don't even know that it's there. It then connects to your phone over WiFi and monitors how well you sleep that night.

On a normal day, I have to get up by 7:00 to get the boys ready for school. There is a setting on the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitor that asks you when you normally wake up.  I set it to wake me up between 6:30 and 7:00 and wouldn't you know it woke me up at 6:43. Normally I would probably complain about not getting those extra 17 minutes of sleep, but the product knew when I was coming out of a deep sleep and that 17 minutes of restlessness were not going to do me any good.  I shut the alarm off the next day at woke up to another alarm at 7:00.  Wouldn't you know, I felt MORE tired that morning than when the product woke me up naturally.

The interesting part is seeing just how well you slept.

After telling it that I was waking up, the Beautyrest Sleeptracker monitorwas able to show me exactly the amount of time that I was awake, when I was in a deep sleep, when I was in a light sleep, and when I was in REM sleep.

It's kind of important to know these numbers to figure out if you got a good nights sleep. The App will tell you things that aren't good for you like electronics or TV before bed and suggest that exercise is good for you. It's like it's your mom, except it can provide insights as to how well you sleep.

Now that my kids are older and more independent, I guess I could change the "I Sleep to..." to something involving me. I'm not getting any younger and I have come to recognize the importance of a good nights sleep.

I sleep to make sure I stay healthy FOR my kids.

For more information on Beautyrest, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and check out their website.

*Disclosure: I partnered with Beautyrest and Life of Dad on this promotion.  All opinions are my own.

John Willey - Daddy's in Charge?


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