By Sierra Sekula
As adults, we understand that sleep plays a crucial role in the development of young minds, but also the sanity of our own. Any parent or “grown-up” who has had the privilege of wrangling a sleep deprived kiddo may know the importance all too well. Though lots of parents value the time they get once the house is quiet, it’s often that “getting the kids to sleep” can be the most difficult task of the evening. That’s where Alex Heye, pediatric sleep consultant and owner of Sweet Siestas, has all the solutions.
Alex hails from San Antonio and has since settled in the hill country with her husband, Jeff, a Boerne native. Together they share two boys, Hank (4 & 1/2) and Lane (15 months). Almost every weekend is spent with their extended families and friends, likely at the beach or the lake in the summer. Though Alex loves to spend time going dancing or traveling, COVID and kids can make that a little harder these days. After being inspired to be a sleep consultant by her own children, Alex understands firsthand as a parent how hard it can be to find time for yourself and that getting your kids to sleep can be a victory in more ways than one.
“For moms and dads, the best benefit to sleep training is uninterrupted sleep! As adults, we have so much going on in our day to day lives; jobs, keeping up with kid’s medical appointments, being present with family and friends, taking time for self-care… Well, sleep needs to be a priority as well. We can’t be the best version of ourselves if our energy tank is empty.” she explained. When everyone in your household gets good sleep, everyone in your household benefits. In addition to gaining better sleep, parents can also gain more time once their little ones are in slumber land. “Siesta then fiesta” is just one motto behind Alex’s services. With your child dreaming away, self-care, your favorite show or book, hobbies, or time with your spouse can be easier to prioritize.
Developing healthy sleep habits can also be beneficial beyond the family as well. Alex shared, “Other benefits to parents and outsiders, like grandparents and babysitters, is that when a little one is sleep-trained they will, for the most part, easily take naps and go to sleep for people other than their parents. The parents have this huge stress lifted knowing that when they leave for a night out, or even a weekend away, their kids will sleep well for the people watching them.” These benefits can even extend to daycare or other places your child visits consistently over time.
The biggest benefit your child can receive from healthy sleep habits is healthy brain function. “Sleep is just as important in cognitive and physical development as food is,” she tells us. We all can be cranky zombies who can’t think straight when we are sleep deprived, and kids are no different. It’s even more difficult when you’re trying to grow and learn. Alex has two nephews from her older sister, Jessie, and another nephew and only niece from her twin sister, Jamie. Watching and learning from each of them, along with her sons, has been one of her biggest inspirations for her business. Understanding that all kids grow, develop, and sleep differently is the fun and the challenge behind each child’s sleep plan that she creates.
Alex understands that we all have busy schedules and that is why all of her services are offered virtually. “My service starts off with a free consult call to discuss the pain points you are experiencing with your child’s sleep. This call typically lasts about 15-20 minutes. At that point, if you choose to work with me, you will pick the sleep package that is right for your family and then we will schedule another call (about an hour long) to discuss the plan that your family chooses that is best.” Being that all no two families are the same, she went on to include that “Together we can customize your plan to fit your child’s personality and your family’s dynamic.”