This post was written by Jen Rattie in partnership with Knit Health. All opinions are her own.
As far back as I can remember I have had insomnia. I am from a long line of insomniacs. I was hoping when I had children that the issue would skip them, but we weren’t that lucky.
It started off the bat when they were babies. They were night owls and needed a lot of interventions to get them to sleep through the night. My youngest child has had the worst of it. She was 9 weeks premature and didn’t establish a “normal” sleeping pattern until she was almost 3 years old.
An issue I have had with her that I didn’t have to worry about with my older two is screen time. I know it affects her but with technology being everywhere in her life, it’s difficult to control. Since I have never really been able to figure out a way to battle my insomnia, it has been difficult to help her figure out what could help her get a good, restorative night’s sleep.
Knit Health has helped us figure out what is causing her issues! Backed by years of sleep research and state of the art technology, Knit helps you track and uncover what’s impacting your child’s night, so they can live brighter, better days.
The camera was extremely easy to set up and unobtrusive while tracking sleep – unlike in-lab or at-home sleep tests, there are no wires or anything attached to the body, so Knit is able to capture what a child’s natural sleep in their home environment really looks like. That is one of the main issues I have with doing a sleep lab is that it’s not your natural sleep environment.
Because her sleep was tracked for two weeks, Knit was able to determine patterns causing her restless sleep. It was so enlightening because there were issues that we didn’t even know about or couldn’t have known unless we watched her all night!
I liked having a snapshot of each night in the app so I could physically show my daughter what her sleep the night before looked like. At the end of two weeks, we received an in-depth report of recommendations and trends that Knit noticed while doing the study, written by sleep experts (in the Medical Advisors section) who are MD’s and respected in their field.
What we learned:
- Her average sleep duration is inadequate for her age, and the amount of time she sleeps changes significantly on the weekends. Her internal clock may be confused by the inconsistencies between her weeknight and weekend sleep. Regulating her sleep schedule will help settle her circadian rhythm and provide her with overall optimal sleep.
- She has a high number of sleep disturbances throughout the night, which leads to an increase in still sleep (deep sleep) to make up for the high number of times she is awake at night.
- Her sleep environment may be causing many of her arousals. Evaluating and changing environmental factors will help create a healthy sleep space that is cool, quiet, dark, allergy and technology free.
- She has a mild number of sleep breathing disturbances that may be impacting her quality of sleep.
With the report, we received recommendations on how to fix the problems, which we have followed to great success.
- Establishing a set routine at bedtime whether it’s the weekend or a school night.
- Making sure screen time ends at least 2 hours before bed.
- Paying attention to her food and liquid intake before bed.
- Actively checking her bed for electronics, stuffed animals and other objects that could be distracting her.
- Changing her pillow so that she is more comfortable.
- Monitoring the temperature of her room.
- Installing a HEPA filter so she breathes better. (We have one but now I think we need to upgrade after this study. It’s obviously not working!).
Knit observed her going to bed with her phone, which I was not aware she was doing. We have cleared out her bed, got her a fan to keep her room cool, got her in the habit of NOT sleeping on top of her blankets (they were bunching under her) and changed her pillow. We have established a cut off time for her devices and are making efforts to make sure she is going to bed at the same time every night as much as we can. After following these recommendations her sleep has improved!
A lot of the suggestions are things we thought could be impacting her sleep, but my husband and I weren’t aware of just how much the combinations of factors were impacting her.
I let her do her thing for this study to see what goes on when I wasn’t constantly reminding her to clean out her bed, get off devices etc. It was pretty eye-opening for her too.
I am so happy we did the study. I HIGHLY recommend doing the Knit study if you have kids that are having sleep issues. I wish it had been available for my older two!!
Right now, readers of ModernMom can access Knit for $99 (regularly $249). Visit their site using this special link, and when you’re ready to purchase, just click “Get Knit” and it will take you to the checkout: https://www.knithealth.com/modernmom