Remember the days of fathers pulling leisurely into the driveway after an 8 hour workday? They open the front door to the smell of a delicious dinner and their loyal dog holding the slippers. After a leisurely meal, dad settles into his easy chair for a relaxing evening watching baseball or the news. By 9:30, it’s lights out for a peaceful sleep. If that scene ever existed, it’s seems like an alternate universe. Most dads today are overworked, stressed out, and exhausted from a day that is only half over when they leave the office. Between meal prep, soccer practice, band recitals, science projects and odd jobs around the house, dads play the role of everyone from chef to chauffeur. And the one thing they don’t get enough of is sleep. For many dads, the motto “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” may be more prophesy than comedy. Lack of sleep can be extremely damaging to their overall health. Here are some ways sleep help makes you a better dad.
1. It makes you more productiveLack of sleep has been proven to negatively impact memory, attention span, alertness, concentration and other cognitive processes. Between work, kids and side projects, you have a lot on your plate, and there’s no doubt that when things aren’t done well at the office, it affects your ability to be fully present at home. Ensuring you lock in 7 - 9 hours of restful sleep every night means being productive in the office and focused at home.
2. It helps you keep upKids are full of all kinds of energy, and there’s no denying they can be absolutely exhausting. Running around with your kids is one of the many ways you can bond with them in a hands-on way; the only problem is, most parents are just too tired to do it. Getting sufficient rest means you can say goodbye to daytime sleepiness and start keeping up with your kids.
3. It improves your attitudeLoss of sleep can have drastic effects on your mood and can even contribute to symptoms of depression. Kids pick up on the smallest things, whether it's your negativity towards your spouse or the way you speak to a coworker on the phone. Getting a good night’s sleep can help you generate a better attitude and create a more positive environment for your kids.
4. It keeps you healthyNot getting a good night’s sleep can be extremely taxing on your physical health; in fact, sleep disorders can lead to serious heart diseases, strokes, diabetes and obesity. As a father, it’s part of your job to take care of your kids, but in order to do that well, you need to take care of yourself first.
5. It keeps your family safe
Every year in the U.S., approximately 100,000 auto crashes are caused by fatigued drivers. Whether you’re driving to soccer practice at the end of the day or doing drop-offs first thing in the morning, being on the road is a part of being a dad. Ensuring you’re well rested before getting behind the wheel means creating a safe environment for you and your family.
References: Peri, C. WebMD. Coping with excessive sleepiness. 2014; http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss National Sleep Foundation. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? 2015; https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need Peri, C. WebMD. Coping with excessive sleepiness. 2014; https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need