Of the many things we hear about parenting, there is one thing that every parent can agree on: sleep definitely takes a hit. But when it comes to sleeping better, especially with children who don’t get as much shut-eye as they should, it is always about quality rather than quantity. So, what do we need to do to ensure that we get better quality sleep? Here are some of the best evidence-based tips:
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Optimize Your Sleep Environment
There are a number of things to do to ensure that your bedroom is conducive to deep sleep, right down to the duvet and the mattress. The quality of the mattress is one such thing because if you struggle to sleep properly or you get to sleep and wake up feeling tense, you’ve got to think that you have been holding a tense position for hours. You should also look at creating an ideal sleep environment by wearing an eye mask or using blackout blinds. In general, make sure that your bedroom is as quiet and dark as possible, but also at a comfortable temperature. The ideal room temperature for sleep is approximately 60 to 67°F.
Achieve that peaceful feel with some of my interior design mood boards found here!
Consider the Right Supplements and Relaxation Techniques
Instead of thinking that we need to take a sleeping tablet, which can make us feel groggy when we wake up with a dreaded hangover effect, we should look at stimulating natural sleep. There are supplements that can promote relaxation; for example, magnesium. There have been a lot of benefits spoken of magnesium, but there are specific types; magnesium threonate has been shown to be very effective at creating better quality sleep. Other supplements like l-theanine can be very useful for people who struggle to relax in general, and for those who have young kids who don’t sleep and therefore feel the anxieties that come with tiredness, l-theanine can be an excellent solution.
Be Mindful of Your Stimulant Intake
This is a piece of advice for the parents out there who are living off coffee. While many people can consume caffeine before having a nap, which is officially known as a caffeine nap, it’s important to be aware of the types of stimulants you consume before you go to sleep. Regular physical activity throughout the day can provide more even energy levels, but if you’ve had a very bad day and you feel you need a couple of alcoholic drinks or a large meal just before bedtime, this could result in you not having deep sleep. However, some people benefit from consuming carbohydrates an hour or two before bedtime, as this can help to stimulate good quality sleep.
Learning to Relax
If you struggle to get good quality sleep or you sleep plenty but wake up feeling like you haven’t slept, it could very well be due to the volume of stress in your life. Start looking at ways to relax in methods suitable to you. You may not be able to have a 20-minute meditation session twice a day, but there are tools such as heart coherence breathing that you could do while sitting next to your child waiting for them to go to sleep. We’ll put a link below.
When it comes to sleep, we definitely need to think more about quality. They say we should have between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, but if you cannot get that amount, focus on getting better with little.
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