Having a child is an awesome, life changing experience ...that brings some challenges along with it.
For me, one of the challenges has been sleep. Our precious 15 month old son won't sleep through the night, and since I am an incredibly light sleeper, we have the recipe for plenty of long, disrupted nights of sleep...which we will spend together. Hooray.
Allow me show you just what I mean.
Here is a typical night, as tracked by Zeo...
I spent about 8 ½ hours in bed, but only got 6 ¾ hours sleep - with 11 wakeups and about 1 hour and 45 minutes spent either attending to my son or awake in bed while my wife attends to him. Sound familiar to any other new parents out there?
To tackle all of the different issues that people confront on their way to a better night's sleep, we built 7 categories of things that steal your sleep - the 7 Sleep Stealers™. In one of these categores, "Bedmates, Kids & Pets", we discuss different strategies for coping with a child who has difficulty sleeping.
There are two factors that impact my situation.
One addresses sleep scheduling for our child (e.g. consistency is key) and the other with my wife (e.g. establish shifts where each partner is "on call"), but different things work for different people, and at the end of the day you need to figure out what works for you.
My son's late night calls are going to happen one way or another - so I was actually quite skeptical of how technology could help my personal sleep issue. As it turns out, Zeo highlighted a very simple fact for me that affects how I sleep...And the best part is - I have control over it.
In Dave's post, he talks about the importance of bedtime on your nightly sleep patterns. Well, here's the impact bedtime has had on my sleep over the past few months...
So, on average, I get 22 more ZQ points when I get to bed from 8 - 9 PM vs. when I go to bet between 11 PM - Midnight. It's difficult (and admittedly rare) to get in bed that early, but the bedtime trend is consistent as the night advances.
While this may not be a revolutionary conclusion for some, it was a real eye opener for me to see the impact of this simple change through my personal sleep data. I now know exactly how much it will cost me in quality sleep measured in ZQ points if I choose to stay up late to catch that must-see TV show. This is where the TiVo steps in.
Can't wait to see what happens once my little one starts sleeping through the night...
How about you? Have any advice you found useful when you were a new parent? Share your thoughts in the comments or on our facebook wall.