As parents of small humans, for the first few years of their lives, one of the top 3 things that consume our lives is the need for sleep; along with feeding them and keeping them safe. But as parents to young children, we tend to adapt to broken sleep. However, we need to remember that the quality of sleep is important too.
In order for the kids to have a good night’s sleep, they need a full tummy, a dry bum, and a good routine – you can read more on my kid’s routine here in an earlier post I did: Why Their Routine Is Good For Me. But we parents need to take a more intentional approach to get a good night’s sleep.
The effects of a poor night’s sleep
A poor night’s sleep for them = a grumpy child; something NO parent wants to deal with. Grumpy kids are far worse than grumpy moms, believe me! Although let’s be honest, if they have a bad night’s sleep then so do you, and then there are two grumpy barely-humans in the house!
Once you have managed to sort out your child’s sleeping schedule and they are getting the rest they need, it’s also important not to forget that we as adults also need a good night’s sleep.
Some people need more sleep than others, I am one of those who needs less sleep especially compared to my husband. Regardless of the number of hours of sleep each person needs, the quality of the rest is sometimes more important. You can lie in bed for 8 hours and have a terrible night, or you can have 5 good quality hours and wake up more refreshed.
Here are my top tips for a good night’s sleep:
- Caffeine: Monitor your caffeine intake. Did you know that caffeine is not only found in tea & coffee but in many carbonated soft-drinks, some medication, diet pills, and even a small amount remains in decaffeinated coffee? If you can, try to make a conscious effort to reduce your caffeine intake from late afternoon then you will be able to get a better night’s rest. Instead, drink water for the last few hours before you go to bed.
- Routine: Just as we help our children prepare for bed with their own little routine, it’s useful for adults as well. Whether it’s reading a few pages of a book, tucking the kids in, cleaning the kitchen, whatever works for you, find out what your routine is and try to stick to it as much as possible. A bedtime routine can help signal our bodies and minds that it is time to prepare to rest.
- Bedtime: Set yourself a bedtime. If you know that you function best on 8 hours sleep, then work backwards from the latest possible time you need to be up in the morning, and make sure you go to bed on time. Don’t go to bed too early either because you’ll end up lying there and start fidgeting and getting irritated, your mind will run in a million different directions and you won’t be able to relax. OR you will end up waking up far too early too, which will have a knock on effect at the end of that day.
- Environment: Create your optimum environment for a good night’s rest. I hate a ticking clock, I have NO ticking clocks in my house let alone in my bedroom. I also sleep with the bathroom light on so my kids can find their way to us in the dark. These little things help to create an environment where I can relax. If I can’t relax I won’t get the quality of sleep I need. What does your environment look like? What do you need?
- Temperature: Part of the environment point above but noteworthy on it’s own is making sure your sleeping environment is the optimum temperature for a good night’s sleep. I’m not just talking about the aircon temperature control either. Consider your bedding (winter vs summer; sheets, duvets & blankets), the ventilation (hot & stuffy; cold & damp), if it differs from what you need, try to change it.
Improving the quality of sleep for snorers
If you or your hubby snores through the night, it can seriously affect the quality of sleep that both of you are getting. And when the problem is left unaddressed, it can lead to needless arguments.
Being a couple with jobs and kids is no easy task. You both need all the sleep you can get. If the snoring has been going on for a long time, it could be a symptom of sleep apnea. A neurologist should be able to look at your or your dear husband’s snoring patterns and recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy using a ResMed CPAP machine.
Obviously there are other factors to consider as well: exercise, diet, stimulation (tv/screentime), etc. but these are the top tips I use to try to get a good night’s sleep. If you would like more tips on how to sleep better, check out this post.
If you have any ideas or tips you’d like to share on why the quality of sleep is important in your life, please comment below.
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Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. I’m not a medical professional, ‘just a mom’ who, apart from dealing with a little Bed Hopping is quite proud of the good sleeping regime my family have.