Certain habits make life feel doable. When they go awry, everything else is much harder. In this episode of Best of Both Worlds, Sarah and I discuss our “foundation habits.” They’re pretty similar: sleep, exercise, planning. Sarah has meditation on her list. I have quiet time to myself — when I don’t get this, I am a very cranky person! It’s been harder to come by the last few months, and coupled with my lack of sleep, well, life has felt more challenging.
We also discuss plans for fall, and my fall fun list. I’m happy to report that I’ve already crossed a few items off, including apple picking and running 10 miles (with running buddy Jane) this last weekend. The 10 miles felt pretty good in the 50 degree air. Now, just waiting for the leaves to change to do some leaf peeping… Please give the episode a listen!
6 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Foundation habits and fall”
Okay, genetics nerd that I am, I just have to comment that there actually ARE genetic causes of short-sleep needs! There’s a group at UCSF that studies short sleepers and have found what they believe are causative variants in two genes – DEC2 and ADRB1. I believe these are dominant. Individuals with mutations in these genes apparently need something like 5-6 hours of sleep per night, compared to a more typical person who requires around 8 (not saying this is what people GET, but it’s what most people NEED). Here’s a non-scientific article that summarizes: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2019/08/415261/after-10-year-search-scientists-find-second-short-sleep-gene
Not saying this is what’s going on with Laura’s kids, but just thought it was amusing to point out that it’s a real thing =)
(though if that were the explanation in your family, it appears there might be other benefits! no jet lag?! longer lifespan!?)
I would think it must be a nightmare to parent a short-sleeping child if you are not a short-sleeper yourself, but can you imagine how amazing it would be as a busy adult!?!?! So much more time to do things!
In all seriousness – good luck, Laura. Sleep deprivation is the worst. Hoping Henry gets himself ironed out for you soon!
@KGC- yep, I suspect we have a few short sleepers in the family (including the extended family). I know I am highly unlikely to have one of those kids who takes 2 hour naps twice a day and then sleeps 11 hours straight at night. I read a post on Instagram the other day from a mom of a big family and she noted how all her kids were sleeping 12 hours straight at night by age 4 months and…I guess I just feel I should get a medal for having a big family where that does not happen (and it’s not that I don’t know how to sleep train. I do. There are also just kids who are more into it than others).
My sample size is extremely small (n=2) but it seems like personality of the kid also plays into it. My older one (now 11 so this is all an unpleasantish memory) was a super chill baby and slept pretty well most of the time except for short blips. As she’s grown, she has ALWAYS needed A LOT of sleep, like me. I need to *average* 8.5 hours per night, and I am forced to catch up if I short myself so my “good night of sleep” is 9 or 9.5 hours if I’ve got 6.5-7 hour nights in the mix. Even though she’s a pre-teen she still goes to bed at 7:30 (now by choice!) and she will sleep a solid 11.5 hours. That’s just how she’s wired. Her 7.5o younger sister on the other hand, needs about 9.5-10 hours and is extremely routine dependent (possibly our fault) so if she stays up later than 8pm she’s up at 5am no matter what and super cranky the next day. I also noticed with the second kid that if we tried to sleep train her/ignore her crying at night, it escalated fast, and then it took FOREVER to get her back down and this totally jives with her personality as we know it now. She’s very sensitive both emotionally and physically and takes a long time to calm down once she’s in an agitated state, so we’ve found it’s better to not let her get there (as much as we can). She’s my “peaks and valleys” kid and we still work hard to make sure she’s fed and rested to keep her as even keeled as is possible for her. It took us 5+ years to figure out she gets “hangry” and can’t go more than 3 hours without a snack or she’ll just lose it. I wish we had known that when she was a baby/toddler, sigh.
Really lovely episode! I hope Henry figures out this sleeping business – my son was a terrible sleeper until 18 months and it was really brutal and wearing. I think fresh air and reading are foundational habits for me – I cope better on the days I get some form of outdoor exercise but even 20 minutes pottering around the garden can keep me sane. Yesterday, I was walking around in the rain. And I typically read for 30-60 minutes in the evening. I’ve put my kindle or current book on top of my phone so I reach for that first in the am, which is really helpful. I’m on kid duty first thing with our split shift and I’ve started letting my son crawl in bed with me, read some books, and then he plays an alphabet game on the iPad while I read. That 20 minutes in which I can drink my tea really makes a difference in our whole day.
I just recently discovered how delightful reading 1st thing in the morning is vs. waking up to scroll email and Instagram! I can get lost in a story while my body is still waking up so by the time I get out of bed, I’m wide awake and in a good mood. I really wish I had figured this out sooner 🙂
I definitely need sleep to function. I have four kids and number 1 and 3 were terrible sleepers. When #3 was 11 mos old, I slept at my in-laws for 3 nights. I know all kids are different, but that worked for us. I was just so done and I knew if I were there, my husband would end up getting me. I also know people who hired sleep trainers and that worked for them.
I agree with you that you get the kids you get. My youngest is just so easy-in so many ways my easiest child-but he is a super picky eater. Lots of people have suggestions and I just think they haven’t met this kid. He is my 4th. I know all the theories. He really loves cream cheese and bagels and fruit, so that is his meal lots of times.