How To Get Better Quality Adult Sleep
Sleep is a topic that is mentioned to you from the moment you see that line on a pregnancy stick. People tell you to enjoy it now as they share their own war stories and try to prepare you for a period of time where a huge amount of sleep will not be coming your way.
There is no denying the fact that pregnancy, babies and arguably children are not exactly conducive to good quality sleep.
When your baby comes along, the topic of sleep will tend to revolve around how your baby is sleeping. It is something that people will ask about time and time again while sharing with you their own opinions, ideas and anecdotes – even if you didn’t ask for them.
The idea is that if your baby is sleeping well then you will be sleeping well. A well-rested parent is most definitely a happier parent so it makes a lot of sense that people will show a great interest in your baby’s sleep if they care about you.
The reality is that babies are not born as scheduled creatures who understand that mummy and daddy need a full night’s sleep to cope well with the next day’s activities and responsibilities. They are living, breathing individuals who will grow to sleep for longer periods of time as they get older but that may be a great deal of time away.
When your baby’s sleeping starts to improve you will feel like a new person – right? Well, that is true IF you are getting good quality sleep as an adult. You may have waited years and years to reach a point where your child is sleeping for decent bouts of time at night but are you taking advantage of that time and investing in your own sleep?
As a parent, you will function a whole lot better with a good night’s sleep behind you. You will think clearer, make better decisions and your mood and patience will infinitely improve. Everyone will gain from a well-rested parent – the postman that you say hello to, the boss you’re able to communicate better with and of course your own children and partner will get the very best of you.
So now that your child is sleeping a little better, here are some tips to help you to get better quality sleep.
1. Ditch the screens before bed. Do you lie in bed and scroll through social media before you go to sleep? That needs to change. The bedroom should be a screen-free zone to promote good quality sleep. It has been scientifically proven that the lights and sounds emitted from screens make it a lot more difficult for your brain to switch off. This makes it a lot more difficult to fall asleep. Try reading before bed – it will relax you and help you to fall asleep easily.
2. Let’s talk about caffeine. As a parent, caffeine is our very best friend but is it really a wise idea to have a big mug of tea right before we want to sleep? Try switching to decaf for that night-time tea. You’ll benefit from the comforting warm drink without the caffeine keeping you awake when your body and mind is tired.
3. Try to have a regular sleep and waking routine. If you go to bed at around the same time every night and rise at the same time too your body will come to expect this pattern of sleep.
4. Bed-time rituals and a routine to help with the wind down before bed are great for children but they also work really well for adults. Try to spend that hour before bed doing things that help you to wind down – a warm shower, some meditation or light reading can work really well.
5. Update your bed and invest in good sleep. You spend a huge amount of your life sleeping so it is worth investing in a duvet, pillows and bedding that encourage better sleep. A new bed will take time to plan for financially but a new mattress protector and fresh bedding can really make a difference.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.