I’ll let you in on a little secret. Becoming a parent is when I really started to value sleep. Probably because I’d never suffered the serious lack of it before then. But, let’s keep it real, having a newborn or even a toddler who doesn’t sleep can be utterly draining, no matter how cute they are. During Amy’s ‘sleeping is for losers’ phase, I felt like something out of The Walking Dead and, I most certainly looked like it. I was tired, I was grumpy and I had no motivation for anything but chilling out on the sofa.
With these sleep hacks, however, getting a good night’s sleep will be super easy to achieve – well, that’s if your kids play along!
Sleep Hacks: Ditch electronics
No matter if it’s your mobile phone, tablet or laptop, ditch electronics at bedtime. Research proves that the light emitted by electronic devices promotes wakefulness and messes with your circadian rhythm leading to chronic sleep deprivation and a reduced REM phase. That in return means that you well feel less energised in the morning and it will be harder for you to get up.
Sleep Hacks: Create absolute darkness
Light is like a drug to our brain. It signals your Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (clever word for the part of your brain that controls your biological clock) that it’s time to wake up and releases energy that quite frankly, you really don’t need at night. A streetlight in front of your window or the bright moon can be enough to kick-start those processes in your body, so try and create absolute darkness in your bedroom by using black-out blinds, thick curtains or even a sleep mask.
Sleep Hacks: Turn the heating down
The perfect temperature for a good night’s sleep is between 15,5 – 19,5 °C or 60 – 67 F. In fact, when you lie down for bed, your body temperature automatically decreases to let your brain know that it’s time to sleep. Creating the right environment helps the process and makes it easier for your body to shut down and initiate a deep and relaxed sleep.
Sleep Hacks: Invest in a good bed and mattress
A study by Research Triangle International and two professors from Duke University shows that your mattress’s level of support directly impacts on your sleep, pain and daytime functioning. Unfortunately, your needs in terms of support and comfort might be completely different to those of your partner. To avoid restless and unrelaxing sleep on both sides, it might be worth looking into single adjustable beds. Don’t fear, you won’t have to sleep worlds apart but having beds that each of you can adjust to your needs will ensure that both of you wake up refreshed and energised in the morning. No need for a new bed? Make sure to change your mattress every seven to eight years.
Sleep Hacks: Watch what you eat
We all know that you shouldn’t eat a heavy meal just before bedtime but there’s nothing to say against a small snack. Make them carb-heavy and keep them under 200 calories and you’re really improving your chances of a good night’s sleep. Bananas, oats, cereal or even a slice of toast are a great option.
What’s your best bedtime or sleep hack? Let me know in the comments below, so we’re all getting enough rest at night!