Until very recently I was among the nearly three-quarters of American smartphone owners who sleep with their phone next to their bed. I routinely spent a fair amount of time scrolling just prior to sleep. This, despite recommending to parents at least weekly in clinic that they get their child’s gadgets out of their bedroom if they wanted to increase sleep quality and quantity.

For about a year now (okay, let’s be honest, at least two) I’ve been telling myself I needed to make a change. I wanted more peaceful thoughts running through my head when I closed my eyes each night; instead of the myriad news stories that Facebook put in front of me, or the work email that I just couldn’t shake. I wanted to control my phone instead of it controlling me. I had done pretty well with this in other ways- taking periodic digital sabbaths and gradually decreasing my overall screen time by tracking it.

But taking this final step was elusive. I had an excuse. A rationalization. A road block. The thought that runs through your head when you know you need to make a change, but cannot do it, and so convince yourself that it makes sense to maintain the status quo. In this case? I didn’t have an alarm clock. I really needed my phone to be my alarm clock.

Then my son got a tablet for Christmas. I had pretty mixed feelings about this but it is a fairly simple model that he uses for homework (and of course his “videos”). We set up some screen time rules around its use and one of those rules is that the tablet has a bedtime. It charges in a docking station in the family room. Here I was, telling my son that his tablet had a bedtime but I couldn’t give my phone the same.

So I bought an alarm clock. Ten dollars later and I am free. It’s been almost two months since my phone joined the tablet at its docking station each evening and, wow, I’m never going back. Better sleep. Peace of mind. More reading. Less parental guilt. And no more excuses.

The NeverEnding Bedtime

I am very excited to have Dr. Craig Canapari here on My Two Hats this week as the blog’s first guest. Dr. Canapari is a board certified pediatric pulmonologist and sleep specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, where he cares for children with sleep and breathing problems. He is here today with great advice regarding bedtime resistance in toddlers. I think his thoughts will prove very helpful for many families, as they did for us. So, check out the post, and then head over to his great blog for more fantastic tips about sleep and children.
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Sleep Syllabus: Resources for Tired Families

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, sleep is the holy grail of parenting.  Adequate, quality sleep is essential for children’s growth and development.  Poor or insufficient sleep can contribute to a host of child health problems.  And, we all know how the mood of a household can plummet when kids (and therefore parents) aren’t sleeping well.  But, achieving adequate sleep for all family members is, at times, a daunting and difficult task.  In honor of National Sleep Awareness Week, I thought it would be a good time to provide a sleep syllabus of sorts.  So, here it is- a list of resources for tired parents facing sleep difficulties.  I hope you will find it useful. Continue reading