Parent's guide to getting more sleep 💤
As a parent it's easy to put everyone else's needs before your own. There's so much to do, and time always seems to run short, and so do your energy levels. Loosing sleep regularly can have health consequences. Starting from loss of concentration or limited patience, and continuing to diagnosed depression. None of those are ideal with energetic kids around, right? So how can you get more rest when kids are fighting bedtime?
So how can you get more rest when kids are fighting bedtime?
1. Set a bedtime routine for the whole family, including yourself, and stick to it every single night.
Make sure everything is ready for the next day, including a clean set of clothes. This might get kids more eager to go to sleep and be ready for the upcoming day. Run a bath, offer a choice of two books and two pyjamas. Giving kids this choice will give them a sense of control and will reduce meltdowns. You might all want to practice relaxing breathing techniques, these can be really helpful. Once kids are tucked in bed, leave a nightlight on in case they wake up.
2. Take a nap
It's OK to take a nap when your little one is napping. If you have older children at home, arrange a quiet time and get them to lie down with you.
3. Limit kids coming to your bed in the middle of the night if it's waking you up.
Find out what's causing it. If it's toilet trips, make sure the way to the toilet is well lit so your little one can go by themselves. It's also a good idea to practice your little one tucking themselves in so they don't have to wake you in the middle of the night.
4. Make sure your little one's bed is comfortable.
Children can be very sensitive and will struggle to stay in bed if it's not comfortable. An old-school plastic waterproof mattress protector can be noisy and cause overheating. Try switching to something soft like a PeapodMat, which is also noise free.
5. Protect your little one's bed.
Running out of sheets in the middle of the night, scrubbing the mattress, your little one in your bed wide awake at 2AM. Sounds familiar?
Make sure it's quick and easy to change your little one's bed in the middle of the night in case they have an accident. Thanks to PeapodMats you can change their bed and be back to sleep within minutes!
PeapodMats stay in place with no straps so you can just whisk them away and go back to sleep!
What to do if you have kids at different ages?
If you have a baby and toddlers at home who vocally fight their bedtime, you might want to put older ones to bed first. Otherwise, you're risking waking up the baby and having all of them crying.
Let's Talk About Your Bedtime
Now that kids are in bed, it's time for you to wind down as well. How long does it take you to fall asleep? If you find that you don't need any wind down time, and you fall asleep as soon as your head reaches the pillow - that's actually a sign of sleep deprivation. You should catch up on your sleep before it leads to more serious health conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
It's important to establish a night-time routine for yourself as well. One night of long sleep won't solve your sleep debt. It might take weeks before you start to notice a difference. On the other hand, if you find yourself laying in bed unable to fall asleep, here are some tips to help you relax:
1. Have a relaxing bath with oils or candles of your choice
2. Listen to relaxing music
3. Relax with breathing techniques
4. Read a book or write a journal. This is very beneficial and gives you a satisfaction of doing something enjoyable for yourself.
5. Listen to an audiobook or guided meditation.
6. Don't look at the time. Looking at the clock while struggling to fall asleep is a terrible idea. If you have an alarm clock in your room, keep it out of sight.
7. Avoid caffeine late in the day. While it might keep you awake through the day, the last thing you want is it keeping you awake during the night.
8. Keep phones out of the bedroom
9. Avoid any screen time in the hour before bed
10. Make sure your bed is comfortable too. If your mattress protector is noisy and you can hear it rustling with every move, it's time for a change. Try PeapodMats and sleep better:
✔️ no rustling
✔️ stays in place all night without straps
✔️ green alternative to old-school PVC protectors
If you're having troubles falling asleep, contact your GP who will advise and provide treatment if necessary. It's equally important to ask your family or friends for help. They can look after your little one if you need to nap or just need some time for yourself. Parents need a rest too and there is no shame in asking for help. Remember, Happy Parent is a Happy Child!
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.