Sleep, it really is the holy grail. not just for parents, but for everyone and as an insomniac it is possibly the one things that’s on my mind the most. How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep? Will I get enough? Will I fall asleep quickly tonight? Will a child come in our bed tonight? On and on and on. One thing I am learning about is that I need good sleep hygiene and I am making it a priority.
I think I was born an insomniac. It is family lore that I only slept for four hours a night until I was 6 years old and then never slept for more than six or seven hours. Yet my brother slept for at least 12 hours a night and had naps and still would if you let him!
Throughout my life, my sleep or lack of it has never been such an issue until I became a parent and then I just could not get enough sleep and I could not function. I was under the impression that baby’s slept a lot and this myth was perpetuated by a lot of the “yummy mummy’s” in my antenatal classes. I though that my two children were the exception to prove the rule and I was lucky to get 4 hours sleep a night.
But more than that it became a self-perpetuating problem. In fact, I sabotaged my own sleep as I didn’t go to sleep as I knew one of them would wake me and I couldn’t cope with the anger I felt when I did wake. I became a really light sleeper since becoming a parent. I call it mumsomnia!
Add that to the fact that the boys are getting older and if I want any alone time with the husbeast then I am so torn and have to stay up late!
However, I am learning that it is so important for me to have good sleep hygiene and if I look after my routine then I am so much more likely to have a better nights sleep.
How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your Matress Matters
We are lucky enough to have room for a super king sized bed (6 foot wide) and this is key to ALL the family having a better nights sleep. I was one of those parent’s that was never going to let their kids sleep in their bed. Ha! That is so not me or the husbeast. We are both happy sharing a bed with our children (mainly Mini) and at ten he often still sneaks in at some point in the night, but with a big bed and our Eve Mattress we often never even notice.
All of us love the mattress. It is wonderful. In fact, we are saving to buy one for both of the boys’ beds. I can not tell you just how highly I rate this mattress. It has transformed our bed.
Overhaul your bedding
Once we got a mattress that we both loved we realised that we needed to update our pillows and duvet. Due to my health issues I take HRT and had to reduce my dosage which meant nights sweets and menopausal symptoms. So The Fine Bedding Company sent me a Breathable duvet and it is just perfect. We have always gone for feather filled duvets but will never go back. The Breathe Duvet is temperature regulating which helps to wick moisture away from the body, allowing you to sleep in total temperature-controlled comfort. it is light, snuggly and it works! There is nothing better than getting into a comfy bed with the perfect bedding. Not only is this duvet perfect for me, but the husband loves it too. I like having a cool bedroom (we keep a window slightly open even in the dead of winter) and this duvet keeps us warm and cosy.
So now we have covered pillows and duvets it is all about the covers and sheets. In the summer it is always cotton, but in the winter, I love brushed cotton. You don’t get that shock of cold against the skin and it reminds me of my childhood.
Remove Bad Tech from your bedroom
For us, this means no screens. We have a no phones or tablet in the bedroom rule and we stick to it. Screens emit a blue light which is proven to affect the bodies circadian rhythm and disrupt sleep. We don’t allow the kids screens in their room, so it is important that we model that behaviour. I have a Kindle paperwhite, but that doesn’t emit the same sleep affecting light.
Keep to a regular routine
Create a bedtime ritual and stick to it. Try having a warm bath, reading a book and writing a to-do list for the next day each evening to try and relax yourself. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. There is a but though…. if you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing.
Control your Exposure to Light
We have black out blinds in all our bedrooms coupled with curtains which keep them lovely and dark. I also tape over anything that emits light. I have a Lumie Body Clock Iris (I have been using Lumie Body Clocks for over 16 years) and both of the boys have Lumie Body Clocks. Not only do they have a sunset function where they dim over a set time perfect for readers, but the clock light is dimmable too. I also use a light box during the day and when I use the combination of both it seems to work really well for me.