Read Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving...or Missing Sleep? by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Online


Does your child refuse to cooperate in the morning? Get into trouble for not listening? "Lose it" over seemingly insignificant issues? Seem to resist sleep?An estimated 69 percent of American infants, children, and teens are sleep deprived. Studies have shown that sleep deficits can contribute to hyperactivity, distraction, forgetfulness, learning problems, illness, accideDoes your child refuse to cooperate in the morning? Get into trouble for not listening? "Lose it" over seemingly insignificant issues? Seem to resist sleep?An estimated 69 percent of American infants, children, and teens are sleep deprived. Studies have shown that sleep deficits can contribute to hyperactivity, distraction, forgetfulness, learning problems, illness, accidents, and disruptive behaviors. Often what our misbehaving kids really need isn't more "consequences" or more medication but more sleep.Sleepless in America offers weary and frustrated parents a helping hand and an exciting new approach to managing challenging behaviors by integrating research on stress, sleep, and temperament with practical strategies and a five-step approach that enables parents to help their "tired and wired" children get the sleep they so desperately need....

Title : Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving...or Missing Sleep?
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060736026
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sleepless in America: Is Your Child Misbehaving...or Missing Sleep? Reviews

  • Leah
    2019-03-11 09:36

    Let me get the SINGLE negative about this book out of the way up front: it is titled and marketed too narrowly. Sleepless in America is NOT about just children and their sleep habits. It is about how to get yourself, your spouse, your baby/toddler/preschooler/schoolkid/teenager, EVERYONE to sleep in a kinder, easier, gentler, more loving way. People with kids get a lot of advice about sleep. I've seen conjecture that because of the Back to Sleep campaign, babies sleep worse these days - which has turned "how is she sleeping?" into our generation's version of our parents' "is she potty trained yet?" People also tend to think that their way is the only way, hence they will push anything that works for them from leaving babies to cry to cosleeping. Have you ever had a pediatrician tell you to "put the baby down when drowsy but awake?" Have you ever had a baby who didn't then jolt awake screaming angrily? I haven't. If you have, I hope you enjoyed it! Experts tend to write books that push their own agenda as well, so some pediatricians write books bout leaving babies to cry and how that is the only way to have a healthy child. Some write books about magic quick fixes like swaddling, controlled crying, crib sleeping, cosleeping, etc. Some write books advocating lengthy sleep logs and attention to detail, which seems a bit ludicrous to me as people reading a book on sleep issues probably aren't getting enough sleep be at all detail-oriented. The No-Cry Sleep Solution was a great example of that - one I WANTED to love, I TRIED to love it, I just failed at it because when you are that sleep-deprived, you can't do what books seem to think you can.Sleepless in America is the book I wanted that book to be. It explains why you, your spouse, your baby/toddler/child can't sleep. It gives the reasons that most of the sleep advice out there is actually harmful, what is harmful for some children but beneficial for others, what is perpetuated out of habit and custom instead of actual human need, then gives you easy, gentle solutions for adults and children of every age group. These solutions aren't quick fixes. There's no "three nights of crying then she slept through the night!" answer here. But they are easy, kind, loving, and help you treat yourself or your child as a human being worth of respect, closeness, calmness, and love even at night.If I had read this book when my 4 year old was around 9 months, I don't think I would have ended up doing anything different. I would, however, have felt better and less confused and rudderless about what I ended up doing. I also may have been able to implement some ideas earlier and had to do less experimentation. This book is the best book I have ever read on sleep (and I've read a lot of them!). It is kind, understanding, loving, and allows you to take what you want and leave the rest. Everyone should buy it.

  • Sarah Whitney
    2019-03-18 12:29

    The BodyYour child’s body is also impacted as the tension and fatigue arise. Movements become jerky, frenzied, and often impulsive. How well is your child able to control her body? Are her movements smooth and energetic, or is your child “wired” and unable to stop? To determine if your child’s behaviors may be caused by sleep deprivation, look for the following reactions:- Clumsy, experiences frequent accidents, falls and injuries- Frenzied, hyperactivity- Wild at bedtime, can’t fall asleep – even when tired- Hits, throws things, or shouts- Has to be awakened in the morning- Gets sick more frequently than other kids- Craves carbohydrates or sugar- Is lethargic; can’t seem to do what he is usually capable of doing- Seems unable to stop from breaking the rulesSelf-restraint takes energy. Tired, tense kids don’t have the stamina to control themselves. Page 22 Another benefit of sleep is greater independence. Children who are well rested are more likely to experience calm energy. IN a state of calm energy, all systems are in balance, allowing them to stay engaged in the task at hand. They don’t’ need your assistance or energy to keep them awake and on task. If your child is struggling to stay focused and pay attention, it’s important to recognize that sleep – or lack of it – may be the real culprit.Page 25How well are you able to concentrate and to perform? Are you easily distracted? When you are missing sleep, you will find yourself more likely to:- Feel as though you are in a fog- Mix up words- Forget things- Make a list and then lose it- Perform poorly – especially on things that require quick thinking or action- Miss “cues” from your children and others- Miss your exit on the freeway- Have difficulty making decisions or thinking things through- Find it impossible to be creativePage 34Lay one child down, and he may cry for a few minutes. A mad cry, as though to say, “This is hard work! I don’t like it. I don’t want to rest,” but in less than five minutes, he falls blissfully asleep. As his parent, you realize that a bit of fussing was just what he needed to release the tension from his body and that he will now sleep well. Lay another child down, and he screams as though he’s pleading, “Help me, please help me. I can’t stop!” And, indeed, he can’t. His heart racing, eyes wild, hair mussed, he is unable to bring his body back into balance and calm himself. If left unattended, he will cry for hours, overwhelmed by the rush of stress hormones in his body. He cannot stop until someone helps him, not because he’s trying to be manipulative but because of the tension and level of arousal in his body. Or, if he does finally “crash,” as a parent, you are left wondering … does he fall in exhaustion or despair?Page47 By identifying the “window,” you get Mother Nature on your side, helping to move your child towards sleep. … Sometimes, despite your best efforts or intentions, you may miss your child’s “window.” You’ll know it, because he will move into overtired behaviors. ... When your child is crying, has gone into a frenzy of activity, becomes aggressive or silly, starts talking back, has over-the-top reactions, or can’t be satisfied no matter what you do, he’s moved past his “window.” Or, if he’s shrieking and streaking through the house, becoming more and more hyper, a second burst of energy has grabbed him and propelled him on into the night. If this is the case, not the time and move your goal sleep time fifteen minutes earlier the next night. Continue doing so each day until you catch the “window” and she falls asleep easily. Page 133Effective strategies for manging intestityDo not leave this child to cryThe advise to teach the intense child to calm himself by letting him cry does NOT work. Because of his physiological makeup, he has great difficulty calming himself, and can cry for hours, vomiting as his distress increases. This is not intentional or manipulative behavior on his part. He simply can’t do it – yet. You can expect that this child, who needs to learn how to soothe himself and to fall asleep on his own, will require a much more exteneded process of breaking down the skills into tiny, manageable steps that don’t overwhelm his abilty to cope. He’ll get there, but it won’t be quickly, and it will take more effort on your part.- Provide touch- Protect the pace of his life- Allow time to unwindPages 150-2 Place two four-month-old infants together in a room, then sound a loud bell. Odds are that one may not react at all or merely look in the direction of the sound. The other one, however, may startle, her eyes flying wide open, arms thrashing in the air before she bursts into tears. These are not learned response. They are physiological responses. Some children, by their very nature, find it easier to block stimuli than others. That’s why one child can fall asleep amid the noise of a birthday party, while another child awakens when someone merely tiptoes past her bedroom door. It takes much less stimulation for the highly sensitive child to feel agitated, increase her activity, or burst into tears. That’s why she awakens when her diaper is wet, she’s slightly hungry, or is feeling a bit lonely. If your child falls into the 4 or 5 range on the sensitivity scale, you can predict that she will need you to protect her from overstimulation and to help her create a sleeping environment that feels right.Page 153 After forty-five minutes to an hour, if your child has not fallen asleep, siesta time is finished. At Paidea Child Development Center, one-third of the kindergarten students nap during siesta, and in the four-year-old program, over three-quarters do. Page 232Consider moving siblings in together The experience of sleeping alone in a bed, in one’s own room, is very much limited to Western culture. It is a luxury rarely enjoyed or, for that matter, desired by many cultures of the world. In many societies, children are never expected to sleep alone. They simply move from their parents’ bed to one shared with their siblings. Page 306 Something mysteriously wonderful happens as you and your child truly get the sleep you need. Life becomes a hot-fudge sundae, sweet, delicious, and irresistible. Sound sleep catapults you into the day ready to consume every last ounce of it. You are powerful, enticing, smart and capable when drenched in sleep. Happiness glow in your eyes and skin. It resounds in your laughter, deep and infectious. Your children respond accordingly. Everything is easier; they listen and cooperate, and actually seem to enjoy one another’s company. Surprises are exciting instead of daunting. And, sometimes, they even offer to help without being asked. A good night’s sleep has a power of its own. It allows you to truly discover the delight of living in a world that never stops – yet is enjoyed most – when you do. Choose sleep!Page 316

  • Ellyn
    2019-02-25 15:34

    I read this book as a resource for work and really loved it. So many families struggle with sleep, and this book gave me some really useful tools and strategies to share with parents. The author looks at the (often unrecognized) link between lack of sleep and misbehavior and talks about what keeps children from sleeping: tension/stress, the body clock, and temperament. Chapters on night waking, naps, travel and holidays, and changing beds/rooms are also included. I appreciated the author's responsive and nurturing approach and her emphasis on finding what works for one's own family vs. worrying about what everyone else is doing and saying. The book started to feel a bit repetitive towards the end and could have been shorter, but the information is very valuable, and I will definitely use it and recommend it to others.

  • Cassie
    2019-03-17 15:37

    Even if none of the suggestions in this book work for my child, it's still a 5 star book because it made me feel ok about not wanting to let my child cry it out, it made me feel ok that my child is different than other children, and it never once tried to give a one-size-fits-all suggestion. This book says it's ok to learn and improve as you go and you're not a terrible parent because such and such method didn't work when you tried it (you must have done it wrong because it works for every other parent in the entire world).

  • Mckaye
    2019-03-21 17:25

    It's so true what a little sleep can do! Recommendations are that a preschooler is supposed to be getting 12 hours of sleep a night and a toddler 13! Children under the age of five should all be napping. I really liked how the author included tips for children who were slow to adapt, sensitive, or highly active. In our highly stressed world of going from activity to activity it was nice to hear that slowing down actually increases our productivity! A great reminder for those of us with kids.

  • Mireille
    2019-03-26 17:23

    A very good read! At some point I got so excited by it, my 'bubbles were all up'! ;) Most of the tips are for older kids than my seven-month-old, but it was still interesting for the future, and even for me. It did make me want to set a more firm routine (instead of "going with what baby seems to want", which often meant ending up with an overtired baby who slept only thirty minutes and does not want to go to sleep), and I'm also going to try getting outside exercise in the mornings. Here's to hoping...

  • Amy
    2019-03-18 09:40

    Of course, I always look for them to tell me exactly what to do with my children and they never seem to. But I do like her philosophies. Doesn't seem to be helping much with my daughter who takes forever to go to sleep at night.

  • Corrine
    2019-03-18 10:25


  • Lisa Wuertz
    2019-03-10 17:16

    I did like this book. Kurcinka has clearly done her research on sleep. I liked reading about circadian rythm, how a person's/child's personality impacts sleep, and how different environmental factors impact sleep.I do feel like I am walking away from this book with a better knowledge of sleep and how to help my daughter get the sleep she needs.I also liked that she helps parents approach the process of getting their child to sleep in a gentle and sensitive manner. You aren't left feeling like you are coddling your child if you help them into sleep. You are not told to leave your child crying desperately for you.Kurcinka really does a great job of helping you to see the problem of sleep from your child's eyes and reminding you that they are a little person just like you. That said, there were some negatives to the book.Kurcinka claims that we should take what works for our family and throw out the rest. However, her entire strategy seems to revolve around a schedule. I know that I am not alone in being the parent of a child that refuses to have perfect and predictable schedule. There has to be some other way to get your child to have good sleep. So I guess I'm left with taking her advice and holding onto the tips that will usher my child gently into sleep and tossing the doesn't-work-no-matter-how-hard-I-try schedule out the window.

  • Eve
    2019-03-07 10:22

    I really got a lot out of RAISING YOUR SPIRITED CHILD, so I checked out this one too. I've always been a night owl who functions on very little sleep (not always happily), but I had no idea how easily missing sleep can affect a small child. The author impressed upon me the importance of winding down before bed; the pediatrician who said that I needed to have a 'routine' for my daughter didn't do it nearly this well. Timing really is everything. Since I started reading SLEEPLESS IN AMERICA a few days ago, I got my daughter to bed a full hour and a half earlier than her (too-late) usual. (Tonight I slipped and let her stay up later before winding down, and dealt with her overtired wrath. Lesson learned.) I've even tried going to bed earlier and—hey, it works for grownups too!The only thing I would have liked to see is more on sleep requirements. According to Kurcinka, preschoolers need twelve hours of sleep, but my daughter only gets ten and a half. The author does mention cursorily that some people require more or less, but I was hoping for a way to get my daughter to sleep LONGER. I guess you can't make someone sleep longer than his or her body clock will allow, but you certainly can try to discern the signs that someone is tired in the first place and ready for sleep. Four stars.

  • Laura
    2019-03-14 16:35

    This is by far the best sleep book I've read. It's not perfect** but what sleep book could be, really? I particularly like the author's emphasis on understanding your child's personality as it relates to ease or difficulty in sleeping. We'd put some of what she recommends into practice already (particularly related to setting the body clock) and it's been helpful to us. We're seeing far fewer tantrums from Ellie now that we've figured out a way to get her to take a short nap every afternoon.**I didn't totally agree with her approach to infants, in that I really don't think it's such a bad thing if you nurse or rock your baby to sleep rather than laying him/her down while still awake. For one thing, since we don't have a crib, if I lay Mark down when he's still awake, he just crawls off to come get me! I think that's more of a personal decision and it's OK to nurse your babies to sleep if that's what works for you! But for older kids, I found this super helpful. I think this book would be helpful to any parent who struggles with helping their kids sleep enough. Thanks so much for recommending this to me, Tory!

  • Lady Susan
    2019-03-08 15:19

    Probably the best book I have read on sleeping, and at this point, I have read quite a number. It isn't like your other typical sleep books--it doesn't fall into one specific sleep camp (i.e. cry it out, don't cry it out.) Also, it isn't directed towards infants. Rather she takes a whole family approach--how to get your family (all of your kids regardless of age) to sleep better.The most illuminating and life-changing aspect of this book was the discussion of temperament and how that will influence your child's ability to get ready to sleep. She looks at intensity, sensitivity, adaptability, energy level, and regularity of body rhythms. Depending on where you child lies on each spectrum, he might be more challenged in switching his clock to sleep. I felt like she was describing my child, especially when she says, "The advice to teach the intense child to calm himself by letting him cry does NOT work. Because of his physiological makeup, he has great difficulty calming himself, and can cry for hours, vomiting as his distress increases." YES! Will probably have to purchase this book to have as a reference.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-03 15:16

    This book is a must read for parents of infants through teenagers. Kurcinka shares the latest sleep research and how sleep affects children while offering practical strategies for helping children get optimal sleep. This is not a one size fits all approach; rather, Kurcinka places great emphasis on observing one's own child to understand his temperament and sleep needs and then gently nudging him to a better sleep given the needs of the family. Thus, she offers a family-centered approach to meeting children's sleep needs, so this book is equally valuable to small and large families. Underlying her sleep suggestions is a parental philosophy of mutual love, respect, and connection, one that meshes very well with my own. This book would be a great addition to one's parenting library and is in my opinion THE BEST sleep book I've read to date and as the parent of young children I've read a few by now.

  • Heather
    2019-03-27 12:32

    If you often feel like your child has behavioral issues that can't be diagnosed, maybe they are just not getting enough sleep at night. This book talks about the importance of sleep in having a good day and how we mess it up for our kids when we don't stick to routines. My daughter always had issues, and even with a consistent bedtime routine is so wound up at night that she just can't get to sleep for 90 minutes or more every night. It took one of her doctors at Children National Medical Center to prescribe her a low dose of melatonin, which she apparently doesn't make enough of on her own. Now she gets to sleep easily and has been better able to deal with all the frustrations during her days that go along with being her.No discipline, drug therapy or other interventions can make up for just getting a good night sleep.

  • Jenny
    2019-03-21 09:46

    In our culture - or at least in my family - we really do think less about sleep than we should. This book gave me the permission to refocus on my kids' sleep needs, firmly commit to their bedtime, and resist the urge to rush through the motions of their bedtime routine when we're short on time. It made me stop and think about how for the kids, sleep is not so much a function of whether they're tired as it is a function of whether they're able to relax enough to go to sleep - are my actions at bedtime promoting a relaxing atmosphere or not? It also made me more patient with my kids at bedtime.I give it 4 stars instead of 5 because the author was fond of using cringe-worthy phrases like "sunshine packaged in rays of love," and because I don't share the attachment parenting philosophy she used as a framework to write this book.

  • Sharon Mensing
    2019-03-26 14:32

    I read this in preparation for a parent book club, and though I'm not a parent of a child I need to get to sleep, I found a lot to relate to. There's good advice in this book for adults who want to get a good night's sleep on a regular basis, as well as for parents trying to help their children sleep. Because the author classifies children into types and then gives type-specific advice, this is a book that a parent could read through fairly quickly. As a "morning lark" herself, Kurcinka seems somewhat less than fully sympathetic to us "night owls," but since young children seem to be more larks than owls, that bias works in this context. I have a few things to try -- did you know that research shows a nightly bath to be more effective at inducing sleep than pharmaceuticals?

  • Carlie
    2019-03-08 15:25

    This book is great. Love the author's humane ideas on kindness and sleep training and the comparison to caring for the elderly. I'm all for thoughtful, kind parenthood. I learned some things while reading through it. For instance, I picked up some signs of sleep deprivation in a child and realized that our son that I had recently released from napping had started to exhibit some of them (poor behavior, twitching eye spasms...etc.) and because of this information I wisely put him back into a napping pattern and saw the issues clear up. I think that there is more I could learn if I had the book on hand for ready reference. Am considering purchasing it just for that purpose and also so that I can read through it with my husband who has begun sharing nighttime parenting with me.

  • Molly
    2019-03-03 09:21

    I love this book. It makes me feel like a competent parent. With all of the sleeping advice books out there it's easy to feel that if you don't follow their advice, even if it goes against your instincts, you are*ruining your child FOREVER.* Kurcinka recommends gentle, caring tactics to help your child relax into sleep, knowing they are loved and secure. She also notes that every child is different, and some children are just wired to have a harder time easing into sleep than others (ding ding ding! That's my baby!) -- and it's not your fault! It's long-term advice, so don't expect a quick fix.

  • Michelle Acker
    2019-03-21 16:17

    LOVED this book. This book changed the way I understood my kids. So often everything is tied to sleep. I changed the way I parent my kids after reading this, and 7 years later, I can say I recommend this to every new mom I know. SLEEP is crucial. Teach your kids to value sleep. To understand their behavior and emotions when they're low on sleep. Learn to nap. Can't recommend this book highly enough, even for those without kids. Read the chapter about getting enough sleep as an adult. :)

  • Beth
    2019-03-26 16:44

    This book is a must-read for anyone wanting more ideas and general information about sleep and children. It's not a book about infant sleep, but is great for anyone with a one-year-old and up. I swear, I fixed some of Lily's current sleep weirdnesses within days with some of the ideas I read here. AND, this book doesn't rely on the whole rhetoric of guilt and terror that much of the dreaded psycho "sleep-training" literature out there does. Instead, this book feels really healthy and good about the topic of sleep for the whole family.

  • Gemma Alexander
    2019-02-24 13:24

    The best of the bunch. I keep going back to this one as we continue to modify our approach to bedtime and night wakings. Although all the sleep books claim to be unique in looking for an alternative to "crying it out," they all seem to have basically the same advice and basic sleep science background information. But this one does the best job of balancing scientific basis with practical exercises. It is also the only one that assumes the reader has a child who is genuinely not getting enough sleep, and not that the parent is suffering from unrealistic expectations.

  • Denise
    2019-03-11 17:37

    Okay, okay, okay, I can let go of the sleep thing with Damion. Even though this author says two-year-olds should be napping she does indicate that 12 hours minimum is needed for his age, and he does get that at night. Additionally, a sleep deprived child will wake during the night and we don't have that problem with Damion. Offering quite time, and he occasionally will nap...yes, Brad, I can let it go!

  • K
    2019-03-08 13:34

    For parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, I'd probably have to recommend The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers instead. It did have a few innovative ideas, but it spends a LOT more time advocating for responsive nighttime care while I read it to look for more ideas about how to deal with my child's nighttime waking issues.

  • Christine Gaudreau
    2019-03-08 09:39

    I started reading this book when my almost 4 year old started asking to sleep in his own bed. Which I am happy about but it has made falling asleep for us all a nightmare. This book has already helped me understand that he needs to feel safe and secure like he does when he cosleeps with us. I am eager to finish the book to get more ideas with helping him get a good night sleep which will hopefully then carry over to a good behavior day.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-09 16:17

    A great guide to helping tailor your sleep schedule and figure out reasons why your child acts the way they do. It is a little repetitive, but things need to be repetitive to be remembered. I now understand that my child , when he is misbehaving and not listening just tired and need help getting rest.

  • Adrienne
    2019-03-12 12:22

    This book is fantastic! I never viewed my family as having "sleep issues" but I still learned so much about how your body works concerning sleep and strategies for encouraging good sleep habits. Wonderful resources included in the book and references for specific issues such as traveling, nightmares, etc that I've gone to time and again! A must read for every parent.

  • Nicole Lemke
    2019-03-26 09:28

    The book was well reasearched, and it really drove home the importance of sleep. There was some redundancies. I already limit TV, don't give my kids caffeine (duh?), employ the routine, respond in the nighttime and have a dark atmosphere. So sometimes I felt like " yeah yeah I do all that but this still takes so long to get them down..."

  • Julia
    2019-03-02 17:46

    My baby is 40 days old today and my 3-year-old has been nearly intolerable. Reading this book and the same author's power struggle book has given me new tools to ensure success at our house. Today I implemented a siesta where everyone is alone midday and we all got along better. I recommend this book to anyone with sleep questions!!

  • Kristine
    2019-03-17 17:43

    This book was pivotal in helping me understand that my daughter (and my husband and I) needed help re-setting our sleep patterns and habits. We hired a sleep consultant to work with us and not a day goes by that I do not feel grateful for the amazing change that has occurred. Turns out, my daughter was not misbehaving! She was exhausted!!

  • Tanja
    2019-03-06 10:38

    I really enjoyed this book too. Its been a long time since I read it, but it was eye-opening and has made me a sleep-Nazi!! I think most parents know that missed sleep can cause misbehavior. Anyway, I would only say read this if you have too much time or if you don't think you know much about how important sleep is.