Sleep is essential for anyone’s ability to focus, remember things, solve problems, manage emotions, and feel good. The right amount of sleep reduces anxiety and depression. And did you know that when you’re sleeping, everything you’ve learned during the day encodes in your brain? Knowing how important sleep is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that as a child psychologist, when kids come to me having meltdowns, trouble following directions, are worried, or irritable and grumpy, the very first thing I do is walk the family through a sleep plan. Good sleep is one of the best things we can do to promote our kid’s and also our own ability to learn, grow and be healthy.
“Sleep is everything for the way that we function in this world”
– Amanda Sovik-Johnston
That’s why I’m so excited to have Allison Egidi, a certified pediatric sleep coach, on Active & Connected Families today, talking about the basics of sleep for elementary school kids.
Interestingly, Allison points out that there’s a lot of shame around this topic among parents. Many parents feel awkward and embarrassed when their elementary-aged child doesn’t sleep, thinking they should be over this phase by now and that they’re doing something wrong. Allison tackles this belief right away. Not all kids are naturally inclined to sleep. Some kids truly need to learn to sleep.
“It’s not so much that the parents have done anything wrong,
just that they were dealt a child who doesn’t have a lot of natural sleep talent.”
– Allison Egidi
We’re discussing so many interesting and important topics in today’s episode, helpful not only for parents of elementary school kids but also those of high school kids and really for any adult out there. From helping your kids understand the value of sleep to common pitfalls. You don’t want to miss this one. Hop on and have a listen!
You can find our podcast Active & Connected Families wherever you listen to your podcasts, or easily click any of the links below to listen:
In this episode on sleep help for elementary school kids, we cover:
- The basics of sleep for elementary school kids;
- The importance of a healthy bedtime routine;
- Common pitfalls;
- Teaching your kid that they can sleep independently;
- How much sleep does my kid actually need?;
- Rituals, habits and holding the structure of your family’s bedtime routine;
- Screen usage;
- Teaching your child to understand that sleep is not perfect;
- And so much more!
More about Allison Egidi
Allison is a certified pediatric sleep and wellness coach, living in Keswick, Virginia, with her husband Michael and daughters Addison and Ainsley. She likes to think of herself as someone who, for the most part, has been able to accomplish anything she really sets her mind to. That is until her first daughter Addison was born and sleep went from minimal to virtually non-existent. Everyone said it would get better eventually… She read the books and got endless amounts of advice from friends and family, but Addison’s sleep didn’t improve.
When her second daughter Ainsley arrived, Allison reached her breaking point. She was so tired, and the extreme exhaustion was bringing out all sorts of anxiety. It was then that she accidentally stumbled on a sleep consultant’s Facebook page and thought to herself: “I don’t know what that is, but I need one!”
That was the turning point. Eleven days after implementing the sleep plan they got from the consultant, the entire house was sleeping and her obsession with sleep began! She earned her pediatric sleep consultant certification from the Family Sleep Institute and created her sleep coaching business so she could help parents avoid the unnecessary exhaustion, stress, and anxiety that she herself experienced for nearly two years.
You can learn more about Allison here.
More about Virginia Family Therapy
Virginia Family Therapy is a mental health practice serving individuals, families, and our community. VFT is designed to help people at all stages and from all walks of life by offering therapists and physicians with diverse backgrounds and specialties via face-to-face, walk-and-talk, and telemedicine appointments. Throughout, we are committed to developing strengths-based, authentic, and long-lasting relationships with you and your children. We hope to provide you with the support and insight you need to help your family navigate life’s hard times and joys.
Are you or your child struggling with mental health? We have a team of psychologists and psychiatrists who can help you out. You can learn more about our practice or contact us here.
Resources and links mentioned in this episode
- Get in contact with Allison on her website or Instagram.
- Have a listen to Allison’s podcast ‘How Long ‘Til Bedtime?’ on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or your favorite listening app!
- Book: Why we sleep – Matthew Walker
- Have a listen to Matthew Walker’s talk about Why Sleep Matters on Youtube.
- We’d love to hear your feedback on our podcast. Why not leave us a review on Apple Podcasts?
- We’ve got a bunch of episodes for you to binge listen! Have you listened to our episode on making friends as an adult yet?
Disclaimer: Please remember we are real live therapists, however this is a podcast and is not considered a therapy session. Not only because there is no co-pay but also because we can’t speak to your individual experiences. We are here to help you keep raising healthy kids. And remember, if you are an imperfect parent, we are right there with you. If you or someone you love is in immediate danger, please call your local crisis hotline or go to your nearest emergency room.