The Holistic Science of Sleep

What if I told you that you could improve your child’s sleep and your family’s sleep at night without all the crying? The Holistic Science of Sleep Method addresses a sleep challenge by trying to figure out the root cause, rather than addressing symptoms like crying and parental contact. By figuring out WHY the child is waking frequently, WHY the child can’t settle in the evening, or WHY the child cannot self-sooth, sometimes the sleep challenge will then resolve on its own, or will resolve with gentle behavioral sleep methods. Unattended crying is never necessary. Using the Holistic Science of Sleep Method, I address sleep from four perspectives: Physical needs, social factors, developmental factors, and sleep context and environment. Children and adults with sleep challenges have a misalignment in one of these four areas.

Refugee Child Crisis

Many immigrant children are being separated from their parents and moved to retention centers where they suffer horrendous conditions, scared and alone. The government's treatment of immigrants as if they are criminals is frankly a self-fulfilling prophecy which only serves to doom both these children and our own children to a lower quality of life. We should take care of children because they are innocents. But if that idealistic sentiment isn't reason enough for our politicians, we should consider adequate child care a practical preventative measure to protect the health of our country at large. Because children who grow up with inadequate parental care and in impoverished conditions are at far higher risk of delinquency and criminal behavior later in life. Once these refugee children arrive, we imposing adversity that, to children, is probably far more frightening than what they have already experienced at home- removing their parents and leaving them to face the monsters alone.

Resolving Colic

Colic is hard to explain to parents who haven’t had the pleasure. Most definitions completely fail to encapsulate the colic experience, which includes severe infant distress, and parental overwhelm and depression that can become so severe it leads to child abuse. Around 1 in 5 infants suffer from colic, so you have a pretty good chance of going through this horrible experience if you haven’t yet. Despite what you've heard, colic has negative long-term consequences for infants. But also contrary to what you've heard, there are effective remedies for colic. There are several different known causes, so every remedy will only work for the infants who happen to be suffering from the matching ailment. This is why Dr. Karp’s 5 Ss, baby wearing, and other colic soothing methods do not work for all infants. You have to dig deeper into your own infant’s brain and body to find what’s right for her.

Why Is It So Hard for Babies to Sleep Alone?

All parents hear stories (which they later will learn are little more than myth and legend) of the baby who sleeps in his crib the moment he’s out of the womb. All parents hope they will be the ones to have this child. Even if they are realistic people, they expect the child will sleep alone at least SOME of the time. Yet almost every friend, family member, and acquaintance I have known are astounded initially by their child’s near complete inability to sleep alone. “This child will ONLY sleep when he is in my arms!” They exclaim, as if their child is unique in this respect. They must not have really believed all the gentlemen and -women who entered parenthood before them, who made the same cries over their social media outlets. But as far as I have been able to tell, MOST infants have a very hard time sleeping out of arms, let alone in a room alone.

How this ecologist ended up a pre- and perinatal consultant

I set out, once upon a time, with passion to become an ecologist, to research solutions that would enable us humans to live harmoniously on the Earth indefinitely. I was on this track since high school, and I stayed in school a VERY long time, cultivating my expertise. Then I had kids, and slowly discovered that the 60-80hr work weeks, unstable income, and frequent relocations of a researcher conflicted with my parenting philosophies.