It’s something I’ve often thought about as a parent of a now five-year-old: Oh, the effort I put into making sure he gets a good night’s sleep.
He’s got a noise machine and blackout curtains; a nightlight with an adjustable glow; a cool-mist humidifier that keeps the night air just right. He’s also got an iron-clad routine: a light snack followed by pajama selection (the drawer in his dresser is full of pairs that have been pre-matched by me), a selection of three to four books that get read to him aloud, then finally, brush teeth and off to bed.
It’s consistent and, per my pediatrician since my son was six months old, designed to be Pavlovian—meaning the rinse-repeat rhythm and pacing actually cues his eyes to flutter. (Barring sleep delay tactics, he’s often out by 7:30 p.m.)
Am I envious of his routine? Yes. But as a full-blown adult, there’s a question that lingers in my mind night after night: What’s stopping me from implementing the same routine for myself?