Nobody—nobody—sleeps enough. The search for slumber is now a collective obsession, the topic of many yawn-filled conversations, marketing campaigns, and headlines. Sleep deficiency causes fatal road accidents and is a costly drain on the workforce. Children suffer at school. Moods are foul. Brains are shrunk. While problems like ADHD, obesity, and bad skin used to be attributed to diet, new studies suggest they might be due to catching insufficient Z’s. Gone are the days of sheep counting; we’ve lethargically moved on to prescription pill (and/or essential oil) popping. And the coffee. So much coffee. Yet little of it works. We are all, it seems, insanely tired.
After nearly losing my mind when my own insomniac tendencies collided with the endless wake-ups of my first child, I hired a family sleep consultant. She “trained” my baby and me to self-soothe, so we could put ourselves back to sleep after our many restless nights, which, she explained, are perfectly natural—the average full sleep cycle ranges from 70 to 120 minutes, not eight hours. “We’re training our kids to sleep like we do,” she wisely explained, “alone and for long periods of time.”