I am a sleep consultant, so naturally my children are perfect sleepers. At least that is what you would think, right?!? OH....THE IRONY! If you have had the opportunity to read any of my previous blog post you would know that severe sleep troubles were what lead me to this profession. So, my children are no different from yours. The only difference is that I have spent a great deal of time studying the science of sleep, so when I notice sleep deprivation starting to set in on one of my children, I can easily correct the problem.
The reason for me telling you this is because sometimes you have to get creative when trying to shape sleep habits in children. While my girls are pretty great sleepers and don’t require much to keep them on track, my boys are a different story. They are much more sensitive sleepers than my girls and require a little more effort when their sleeping patterns start to drift. A couple of weeks ago, my boys decided that an early morning pow wow was in order between 5:00 – 5:30 am. This carried on for several days and their precious little voices aren’t quite as appealing in the wee hours of the morning. Their normal “wake up” time is 7:00 am, so these new early morning wake up patterns weren’t exactly working for me (or them, for that matter). While, they know that they are not to come out of their rooms until we come to get them, I had to remind them several times over the monitor that it was time to sleep. For my boys, as with most children, losing that much sleep in the morning will ultimately lead to sleep deprivation. If sleep deprivation begins to set in, it will affect their mood, ability to focus, physical and mental health, so I had to figure out how to keep them from waking so early.
Now, to the point of this blog post. You see, when you have four children who are constantly trying to outsmart you, you spend a lot of time on product research to find things that will help you simplify your life. I will give any product a try that promises to help me survive in a household where adults are the minority. At this point, I am pretty much a one-woman Consumer Reports. Right at the time my boys started with their early wake-ups, a former client sent me a link to a new product to help young children sleep better and stay in their beds. It is called the “Sleeper Hero”, developed by 2 moms that were on the same quest for a full night’s sleep, and he is my new best friend. As soon as she sent me the link, I knew I had to give it a shot and I am grateful that I did.
When the bundle of Sleeper Heroes arrived on my doorstep my kids were all over them. Their new toy radar is flawless! I didn’t really say much about them because I wanted to see their reactions. The plush doll came packed in a perfectly illustrated keepsake box along with a sweet book that helps motivate little ones to sleep on their own and not be afraid. The design of the doll is perfect and the red and green light on his chest makes it very easy for children to understand how it works. One of my son’s snatched up his new Sleeper Hero immediately and asked if he could sleep with him tonight. The rest followed suit. Yay! They took the bait. (I like to celebrate the small victories around here.)
Before bed I set the clock attached to the Sleeper Hero, read them the imaginative story that accompanied the doll and tucked them into bed. I told them that Sleeper Hero’s super power was to know when it was time for their bodies to sleep and when it was okay for them to wake. If they woke in the morning and his light on his chest was red, it meant that it was still time to sleep and not time to talk because Sleeper Hero needs his rest to keep them safe and snuggled all night long. You know what is awesome…kids buy this stuff, and mine are no exception. They pressed their buttons to illuminate the light, saw it was red, snuggled their new friends and went right to sleep. The next morning, I was awoken, but it was not to my boys, but instead the cat howling to be fed (guess he was wondering where his breakfast was) …and it was almost 7:00 am. When I glanced at the monitor, both boys were still laying quietly in their beds, hugging their Sleeper Hero. The same thing happened every night since, even with daylight savings time. I adjusted his time after they went to sleep and the transition went smoothly. Thank you Sleeper Hero!
Why do I love Sleeper Hero? Here are the reasons:
☆ Well, for one he is adorable!
☆ It is super easy to set the clock and it comes with easy to understand directions.
☆ It is simple for kids to understand the rules.
☆ The concept of having a super hero sleep next to them makes kids feel safe at night.
☆ The developers did their research. The red light that is displayed when button is pressed does not impair melatonin production so it will not interfere with sleep.
* I had immediate success because my children have healthy sleep habits, but children that don't are likely to need coaching along with using the Sleeper Hero to see the results they desire.