Healthy Sleep Habits Guest Feature: Cami Kesler, Nurse Practitioner


It’s the time of day that kids start ramping up to, and the time of day that parents start watching the clock. We’re talking bed time of course! As a mother to 5, I could use a variety of emoticons to describe how I’ve felt about sleep and the lack there of over the past 15 years, and as a Family Nurse Practitioner, I'm excited to share some valuable pieces of information to consider when it comes to healthy sleep practices within your home.

On my instagram account I love to discuss what I call, PEDIATRIC PEARLS! These are topics containing valuable pieces of information that sometimes get lost in the juggling act of parenting! These 3 PEDIATRIC PEARLS are a step in the right direction to help you and your little ones fall in love with sleep again!

One of the most important things you learn about when you bring a newborn home from the hospital is SAFE sleep practices. Safe sleep environments include: back to sleep position, as well as no blankets, pillows or stuffed animals in the sleep area. These practice should continue as a child grows. Creating a safe sleep environment, or what I like to refer to as a “sleep boundary” defines the bedroom space. PEDIATRIC PEARLS include: limiting toys in the bedroom, lowering lights & noises after dinner time, and keeping a cooler room temperature which helps sets the tone for what we call in our house, “Nite-nite” time!  As a momma myself, when I found BEDDYS, I gave a hands-up hallelujah emoji! My kiddos love BEDDYS because the fabric is soft, the patterns are fun, and the zipper enclosure provides a sense of security for them! This momma loves them too because they truly make it a breeze for kids to make their beds, talk about a WIN-WIN!
Children of all ages thrive off a routine and with sleep this is exceptionally true. We know that children who get the appropriate amount of sleep have healthier immune systems, do better in school, and are less prone to mental health challenges (1). There are a variety of sleep books, sleep techniques, and great sleep experts to consider. One of my very favorite PEDIATRIC PEARLS to share when it comes to this topic, is “be boring!” Do your best to stick to the same wake times, mealtimes, nap times, and play times when possible. Avoid overscheduling and as a family define your sleep routine. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, the 3 B’s: Brush! Book! Bed! (2). Remember that as a parent, you are a daily teacher and sleep is something that children are learning as they grow! Sleep routines help your child feel secure and comfortable which supports healthy sleep transitions.
Circadian rhythms or sleep/wake cycles are regulated by dark and light. These rhythms begin to develop around six weeks of life and by 3-6 months most infants are working towards a regular schedule (3). While the first year of life, parents may lose up to six weeks of total sleep, sleep challenges don’t stop there. Sleep is affected by growth spurts, travel, change in environment, developmental delays, and mental health. Sleep aids can be beneficial to sleep routines. PEDIATRIC PEARLS I recommend for sleep aids include dark shades, night lights, rice packs to warm beds, cool mist humidifiers, white noise, avoidance of electronic / device usage 2 hours before bed, and melatonin (I recommend WINK NATURALS).
In our house, BEDDYS have been a nice addition to make bedtime and morning routines go just a little smoother. I hope these PEDIATRIC PEARLS can help with your family’s foundation in creating an overall healthy sleep regimen! Come visit me for more Pediatric Pearls on instagram @camikesler_nursepractitioner
Cami Kesler, FNP-C
Growing up in Indiana, Cami was a natural-born Hoosier fan. After moving to Utah and graduating from Timpview High, she went on to play four years of college basketball at Colorado Mesa University where she met her husband and earned her nursing degree.
As an active mom, a nurse, and an adventure-lover, Cami says she appreciates Utah for all its outdoor diversity, and she enjoys being part of a community that values education, service and the well-being of families.
The most rewarding part of working in pediatrics as a Family Nurse Practitioner is the opportunity to work with littles and their families. As a mother of five, she knows every child is unique, and she embraces the challenge of offering research-based solutions tailored to the individual needs and situation of each patient and their family. As in parenting, she says she’s found that good communication and patience have a profound impact in caregiving.
In addition to other outdoor sports like skiing and rafting, Cami has participated in the “Little Red Riding Hood” 100-mile bike ride, an event that benefits cancer research. Though she admits to being a horrible singer, Cami says she can lip sync like a champ and makes up for her lack of vocal talent with dancing skills.
(1) Buxton, O.M., Chang, A., Spilsbury, J., Bos, T., et al. (2015). Sleep in the modern family: Protective family routines for child and adolescent sleep. Sleep Health, 1(1):15.
(2) American Academy of Pediatrics (2018). Brush, Book, Bed. Retrieved from
(3) Allen, K. (2013). Promoting and Protecting Infant Sleep. Advanced Neonatal Care, 12(5): 288-291.