Sleep Guru Believes Setting Limits
Important for Bedtime and Beyond
Rebecca Huntley is the Parenting Press “sleep guru,” but you can use her advice for far more than sleep problems.
The author of The Sleep Book for Tired Parents, Huntley originally wanted to provide “survival tips” for the parents of young children. As the mother of three, she had discovered that even her training and experience as a family therapist did not prepare her for the extreme sleep deprivation that often accompanies parenthood. Today she believes that the advice in her book is even more important than when she started writing.
“Families are busier than ever, they’re being pulled in more directions than ever before . . . and as a result, both children and parents are getting less sleep than they need.”
We’re “running on empty,” Huntley says, adding, “People don’t realize that life would go so much more smoothly if we all had a little more sleep.”
“With longer and longer workdays and commutes,” the parent educator reminds. “ parents have less time at home to accomplish so much. Her recommendations? Rather than letting bedtime slip later and later because you want to spend time with your children at the end of the day, find routines you all enjoy and stick to them. Children thrive on consistency. You can make a leisurely bedtime routine “quality time” with your children—and keep everyone from getting overtired.
A Seattle native, Huntley earned her bachelor’s degree at Washington State University and her master’s in social work at the University of Denver. She lives in Seattle with her husband and three sons (now all taller than her and past their years of sleep problems). Besides conducting parenting education classes, she speaks at conferences and parent groups, writes curricula for Head Start/ECEAP and The Parent School, and articles for the Talaris Institute.