The fact that sleep is a basic human need has been backed up by a number of scientific studies, and more and more are emerging that repeatedly speak in favor of it. Nevertheless, there is a general belief that motherhood and parenthood in general involves long-term sleep deprivation, that it is normal for you not to sleep, and that you should wait for your child to grow. Sleep detection methodwith whom Lucie Slívová is the first in the Czech Republic, but has the opposite opinion.
According to his philosophy, a child can be brought into naturally determined sleeping habits, through which he will gradually learn to sleep regularly, which means that his parents will also be able to sleep. We talked to Lucie, who does sleep consulting, about how to put this idea into practice.
What affects sleep?
All! The body regenerates its tissues, toxic substances are eliminated by the kidneys and protects against diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and many others. Sleep supports immunity and also helps maintain a healthy weight. Improves attention and memory as well as general mood.
Children who don’t sleep well have more behavioral and learning problems. They also have more frequent night terrors, nightmares, drowsiness and bedwetting.
If we sleep well, we are more patient, which is certainly practical for parents, we are also more productive, we avoid anxiety or depression, because our psyche also regenerates during emotion from emotional tension and stress.
Does this apply to both adults and children?
Sure. Most growth hormones are also released during sleep. Children grow and learn much faster than adults, so it is very important that they sleep well and soundly. It would be good to look into their need for sleep from birth, as well as their need for food.
What are the effects of sleep deprivation?
Lack of sleep directly affects how we think and how we feel. Although the short-term effects are more noticeable, chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of mental and physical health problems.
Is it different for a child and an adult?
Children who don’t sleep well have more behavioral and learning problems. They also have more frequent night terrors, nightmares, drowsiness and bedwetting. Recent scientific research has shown that sleep deprivation affects a child’s brain more than an adult’s because the sleep process is more likely to affect brain maturation.
According to you, long-term sleep deprivation is not part of motherhood and parenthood in general. At the same time, there is a general opinion that the fact that the mother does not sleep properly is simply normal …
It is clear that the newborn needs several night feedings, but as the stomach grows, the need for night feeding decreases. On the contrary, many babies begin to wake up more often as their child grows, for example, mothers spend the whole night.
This intermittent sleep is a huge burden. It is not for nothing that sleep deprivation has been recognized as a method of torture. At the same time, when my mother lacks energy and wants to advise, to resolve the situation, she really hears from those around her that it’s normal. It has to last. Moreover, he must enjoy every minute. A woman then feels like a selfish mother when she simply does not want or cannot accept such a situation. In my opinion, this borders on psychological blackmail.
So can we learn to sleep?
You can’t force anyone to sleep, not even children. You can only create ideal conditions, work optimally with biological clocks and circadian rhythms and give them the opportunity to sleep.
Parents whose children have trouble sleeping come to see you. What topics do you discuss most often in this regard?
The most common problem is frequent waking up at night, even all hours of the night. Daytime sleep also gives a lot to parents, we have cases when the baby sleeps, for example, only when riding in a stroller, then he must not stop, otherwise there is a problem. For older children, we are also dealing with nightmares, horrors or, for example, a very long sleep, when, for example, the mother has to lie down with the child until he slept. fall asleep, it happens again, for example, every night.
You solve all of this by designing personalized sleep plans. How is something like this done? And how different are the plans?
First we have to know the family. The basis is a detailed questionnaire, but I speak to each client at least once before writing a plan. I’m based on the Sleep Sense method, which is based on distinct sleep patterns. Thus, each plan has similar basic elements, but they differ not only according to the age of the child, but also according to the lifestyle or the needs and wishes of the family. We’ll then discuss the plan in a video consultation, where, per the deal, I’ll work out the details before sending it off to my parents.
Is it possible to briefly explain what the “common thing” is in terms of healthy sleep habits that the Sleep Sense method works with?
Healthy sleep habits above all mean independence from external aids. Babies will learn that when they feel tired, it’s time for them to sleep. And the best place to sleep is their crib or bed. They have their own sleep strategies, which they then apply during the night, just like us adults.
It seems that you will put your child to bed with love, leave, he happily falls asleep and sleeps until the morning. In the morning, such a baby is well rested, curious and energetic. She wants to play, learn, and not to forget, she also has a good appetite for the first feed or breakfast.
It may seem like an unrealistic dream for many parents, but it just seems like something natural that needs to be supported appropriately. Can parents do something wrong in this regard, even without knowing it?
Parents want the best for their children and act accordingly. Maybe they do everything exactly the same with the other child as with the eldest. But while the first child has never had a problem sleeping, the second is simply insomniac. The reality is that every baby is different. That’s why I wouldn’t tell my parents that they did something wrong or that they were wrong.
Can childhood sleep problems stay with us all our lives?
I believe him. For example, if you suffer from insomnia, it’s not a good idea to ask your mother how you slept as a child. But I don’t want to generalize, I think it’s a very complex question.
Lucie Slivova, BA
She studied Linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London and earned a Sleep Sense TM Children’s Sleep Counselor Certificate. He has been involved in sleep counseling since 2021. In his spare time, he travels with his children, does Nordic walking, enjoys traveling and eating well.
In the world of young children, I meet parents who are waiting for their baby to grow up because of sleep problems. But here I usually have to disappoint them. The average time from onset of the problem to significant improvement is three and a half years.
You yourself are the first Sleep Sense certified sleep consultant in the Czech Republic. How did you actually find something like this, and how did you think you would want to make a living?
I worked as an executive assistant in a multinational, and even if I was more or less satisfied, I was tempted to change and give more concrete meaning to my work. And I don’t think there’s anything more meaningful than helping others. Because I used to go through a very difficult time when my son slept badly when he was a baby, and I was always fascinated by this problem, I guess it just drew me to this job.
I liked Sleep Sense at first sight, and above all I was able to identify 100% with its methods and values. So it was an easy choice. I was accepted, went through an intensive training program and have been proud to represent her ever since.
Has Sleep Sense helped you in your personal life?
The more I know about sleep, the more importance I place on it in my personal life. As a mother of two young children, I often spent the night there, even though they had both been sleeping for a long time. It was often the only time I had for myself. It’s called sleep procrastination, I have to watch out for it even now. Otherwise, I don’t hesitate to apply the methods or new advice from the seminars to my two sons. It works very well. So they sometimes complain about having to go to bed first in the class at night, so they probably don’t have it easy with me…
photo: Petr Bušina, source: Lucie Slívová