If there is any question as to wether or not healthy sleep, (or the lack there of) is an important health topic please note that it has appeared in both the Wall Street Journal and National Geographic this month alone!
The topics range from the science of sleep to the trending practice of parents engaging sleep consultants, such as myself, in the process of setting up healthy sleep habits for their children from early on.
I find it fascinating that when we visit our doctors, whether they be our personal physician, our OBGYN or our child's pediatrician, we are rarely asked about our sleep practices or quality. We are asked about exercise and diet but not sleep...not usually unless we bring it up. Given the fact that we spend a whopping 1/3 of our lives sleeping, and during that sleep our body is completing amazing functions, like emotional regulation and physical repair, it isn't a topic that comes up unless there is a fairly severe issue!
Poor sleep and lack of sleep are at epidemic levels...especially for children. Over scheduling, too much screen time, lack of physical exercise, diets of convenience and under prioritized emotional well-being are just a few of the practices that are drastically impacting the quantity and quality of the sleep our children are getting (and our own for that matter!).
In countries like Australia and Canada, parents use Sleep Consultants regularly, without shame AND with the support of their medical system! In the US we are only just starting to see an increase in the use of the services that I offer and sadly, it is usually out of sheer desperation rather than a proactive health agenda. I am hopeful however that media like this month's issues of WSJ and NG will continue to shed light on this very important health and wellbeing issue, that all too often gets overlooked.