Ah, sleep, that wonderful luxury that we all had pre mini's. Those delightful lie ins and full 8 hours of pure bliss. 'The good days', as some of us unashamedly choose to remember. We can all become sleep deprived as a result of anything from a new baby, insomnia, worry or those mini's that just won't stay in their beds. Now, the brood has arrived. Night time terrors, 2 hourly feeds and every excuse under the sun has made getting some much needed zzz's a problem.
Cut it out - screen time that is
Yes, you, the social media pro or should we say addict? It's time to cut it out, at least at bedtime anyway. Our phones, tablets, iPads and any other devices are one of the biggest bedtime distractions. Are you one of those click out of Instagram, tap into Twitter only to then return to Instagram types, yes? No shade, we are too. It does no good for bedtime at all and makes winding down so much harder, as our brains are still very much still wired from all the information we are consuming. Plus you've just got to give those adrenal glands a rest. Try creating a box where all gadgets can be placed at night. For those that need their phones in case of an emergency, switch to vibrate and leave out of arms reach, across the room, and not on the night stand.
Routine...and be FIRM with it
We've all heard of the bath, book, bed routine, which may work for some mama's, and not for others. Especially those that give their kid a shower in the morning, or are too exhausted come evening to bathe the little cherubs. Nevertheless, we can still implement this in our own unique way. Try switching off all screens an hour or two before bedtime. Create a cool cosy area in the kid's bedroom where you can all relax, with some cushions and soft snuggly blankets. Read until 15 mins prior to bedtime, or use an audio book on a low volume. This will help your mini relax and come down from the days activities. Once they are in bed, the issue we know is keeping them in bed. The key to succeeding at this is consistency. If the action is repeated every night then the mini's will know what follows and will be less likely to refuse going to sleep - problem solved.
Sleep Aids...the good stuff
Some of us have angelic children, that when bed time ensues, make no excuses, get tucked in bed and are in the land of nod in under 5 minutes. So aren't lacking sleep as a result of mini's. God bless those children. Some of us, unfortunately simply just can't sleep as a result of conditions such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Which causes difficulty in falling asleep or disrupts our sleep altogether. With the use of some natural sleep aids we can combat these issues. Try using the amazing deep pillow spray by This Works which aids a good night sleep and helps you wake up feeling more refreshed.
What are you drinking?...
What you eat or drink before bed can reek havoc on getting a good nights rest. As most of us are running around fuelled on coffee during the day, whenn it comes to the evening we may still be highly caffeinated. If you're used to having a hot beverage after dinner or before bed - drinks such as coffee or tea should be switched to decaf. This also applies to sugary drinks too - as they can cause an extreme sugar rush and who wants to be bouncing off the walls at 11pm eh?
Eeek, 10pm curfew
This is one that even we are still struggling with. Well, if you want to sleep better then you're going to have to make some sacrifices I'm afraid. Obvs there are some exceptions to this and the odd night out or two surely can't mean you'll manage to be in bed by 10pm. Thats fine. But implementing a 10pm bedtime will simply mean that you can get in those 8 hours (or try to at least) of pure bedtime bliss.
Cat naps - are called cat naps for a reason
Day time naps for some should be a major no no (with exception to nursing mothers of course and young children). For some they can simply back fire. Ever had a nap during the day for over 30 mins and by 10pm you are wider than wide awake? For many people this resets your sleep cycle and can have a negative effect on your system and may even affect your sleep the following day. If you simply must take a nap as a result of exhaustion or medical issues, then try and limit it to 30 minutes max so as not to interfere with your night time rest.