Book Review: Sleep It Does A Family Good by Dr. Hart

I have always believed that sleep deprivation plays a large role in kid’s misbehavior, marital issues, and even my own “misbehavior”!!! This book Sleep It Does A Family Good addresses all those points and more. Some of the issues were more technically dealt with than what interested me BUT there were so many truths through out the book that sunk in, that I already see a difference in my own sleep habits!

Here’s a few things I learned from the book:
1. No two families have the same sleep patterns, habits or problems. The issues my family may be dealing with such as night terrors, snoring or staying up too late on the computer may be completely different than yours such as a neighbors dog, room temperature, or a new born baby. There are a ton of different factors that affect our family’s sleep habits including how our spouse was raised. So this is a more complex issue than it first appears on the surface.
2.”God has designed sleep into us as a fundamental need, as fundamental as eating food and breathing air.” In our culture we treat sleep as optional. The average person sleeps 6.7 hours a night, compared to 1960 when the average night was 8 hours. If we miss one hour of sleep every night – then by the end of the week we are 7 hours into a sleep deficit – an entire nights sleep!
3. Lack of sleep produces more stress not less stress. For those of us who think that staying up late to get our work done is a way to relieve ourselves of stress – think again! The ability for us to think clearly, creatively and productively is reduced when we are sleep deprived. Hence, we take longer to complete tasks and only increase our stress levels with sleep deprivation. We would do ourselves a big favor to go to bed early and wake well rested to work hard during the day.

4. Sleepy teens is an epidemic due to text messaging, twitter, video games and late night television. It’s our job as parents to monitor our children and be sure they are getting the correct amount of sleep for their age. Animals sleep based on instinct – but children must be taught or they literally will not sleep! Studies have even shown that 4 year olds are no longer getting their naps and night time sleep that they need in our fast paced, on the go culture, and it is affecting their learning and listening abilities.
5. There is a natural universal drive toward an early afternoon mini-sleep in all cultures. Some actually embrace it but in America we equate napping with being a waste of time, self-indulgent or a physical weakness. Our sleep intervals at night are on 1 1/2 hour cycles – so an hour and a half nap can be quite invigorating – 2 hours could make you drowsy! And he did recommend short 20 minute power naps, which I smiled at because those are my favorite type of naps – doable and they work!

6. You have 7 days to make up for a sleep deficit and after that you can never make up for sleep lost. Weekend naps are healthy and essential make-up times – so allow yourself to take a nap on weekends. If you lose sleep one night, try to make it up the next night or by the end of the week. Sleep can be made up within one week from when it’s lost – but after that the effects are irreversible.
Do you want to improve your quality of life? Go to bed early tonight, tomorrow night and the next night – then let me know how you feel! I have a feeling GREAT will be the answer!
“The family that sleeps well, lives well!”
Walk with the King!


  1. Thank you for the book review on "Sleep It Does A Family Good." As a mom of seven, and almost constantly having a young child in the house I can truly say that your words are true!

    I'll be looking to read this book.


  2. Thank you for reiterating the value of napping! I have next to no stress in my life, and since my son was born I have never been sleep deprived. This is because I sleep when he does! But even before my son was born, I had a afternoon sleep time. Some parents are surprised that my nearly 3 year old son still naps. But I expect he may want to continue to nap for years. I'm still napping and I'm nearly 30! It does the body, mind, and spirit good. AND, napping even helps me and my son to sleep better at night!

  3. This is all so true. My husband is a night owl. He frequently decides it is time for quality time {talking, a movie (once it was over 3 hours long!), star gazing} at 10 or 11 PM. I like to be in bed by 11 because our children wake up just before 7. I've talked it over with him and I'm making an effort to be in bed between 10:30-11 several nights a week and before midnight most nights. I have felt so much better. And when mama is happy everyone is happier.

  4. My son had terrible night terrors for years. Every single night! He also had trouble concentrating on his school work, and was very hyper. We discovered he had a food allergy, and when we took the offenders out of his diet, he became a peaceful sleeper, a calm boy, and could maintain wonderful concentration.
    Not sure if this applies to anyone here, but thought I'd pass that along!
    Food allergy tests are done via blood work, not a prick-type test.

  5. I'm reading this book also but am only about half way through. The beginning of the book is a little slow for me so I'm trying really hard not to skip ahead. 🙂

    It is very eye opening though and I've been trying to get to bed earlier. Now if I could just get my youngest to stay in his bed at night and get rid of the dog and cat who also share the bed!

  6. I like the affirmation about naps. My 3 & 4 year olds nap and most of my contemporaries think I'm nuts. It's so true that our culture shuns sleep as if it is an outrageous luxury that only lazy people indulge in. I often feel guilty if I lay down when the kids do, and it is even hard to relax enough to get 20 minutes in, thinking I should be doing this or that. Thanks for pointing out how sensible and healthy sleep is.

  7. the thing that amazes me is how kids dont sleep. naptime i feel as a stay at home mom is as important for my children as for me! they need that time to rest and reenergize. i have a 4 3 2 yo, they all still have to lay down for nap. the older ones may not always sleep but they need to lay down and rest. i could easily schedule things and not give naps but i just feel it is so important for them. on the few occasions they dont nap we all pay the price with overtired children. my neighbors a few different ones do not have their children nap or they have little ones up at 12 at night. it is ridiculous!

  8. I thought you couldn't make up for sleep – that's good to know – so is the nap thing!

    Thank you for this review! 🙂

  9. Love this review and I will forward on. I definitely agree with you about how sleep impacts us.

    Lack of sleep affects our overall disposition throughout the rest of the day and we should not be CREATING more stress in our lives.

    Lack of sleep brings on fear and more lack of sleep and does little to create desire and drive for those positive things.

    Dallas, TX Culture and Events Examiner–Events-Examiner

    Twitter –

  10. This is a great post, Courtney! I have read lots of baby/child sleep books so this topic really interests me! One of my favorites is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I read it and have been following it since my daughter was a tiny newborn. The author states that "sleep promotes sleep," which means that a well rested child, as opposed to an overly-tired one, sleeps better all around. The book also instructs parents on how to teach your child to fall asleep on his or her own, which is a skill they will need for life. 3 or 4 days a week, I take a 20 minute power nap while my daughter is asleep. It gives me just what I need to get through the evening feeling good!

  11. Thanks for the reminder to not feel guilty about sleep. We won't attend events if they are during naptime and I always feel guilty but I know my kids needs those naps. None of us were born with the ability to sleep in.

  12. This is something that has been on my mind lately. I have never slept a lot, not even as a child. My husband and I have discussed that a lot of it is I'm afraid to miss something, I sometimes see sleep as a waste of time when I could be doing something. But oh do I love waking up after a good night of sleep!

  13. I'm not sure I believe that about teens. I think that teens prefer to stay up late and get up late. I think that texting, IMing, and late night tv is just what they do – I think they would find something to do even without that. They WANT to stay up late. I think high school should start at 2 in the afternoon – that would be the best learning environment for the teenagers.

  14. Wow! I appreciate your review and insights! Getting enough sleep is hard to do for sure!

    Thanks for posting this!
    Amy @ Things and Stuff

  15. This sounds like a really good book. And I love the permission to nap 🙂 (not that I needed permission)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.