How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep, sleep, sleep. That precious thing that suddenly becomes loads more important when you become a parent. Before that, I didn’t think about sleep that much — I just slept when I was tired and had the opportunity to.
Since becoming a mum four and a bit years ago, sleep can only happen when both kids are asleep. The addition of disturbed sleep at night — the kids getting up and coming into our bed or needing assistance when they have a bad dream, can’t find their stuffed toy or need a wee — mean I’m more tired in the day. I’m lucky that my husband doesn’t snore (most of the time!) but if you or your partner does, check out this test to find a solution that works for you.
The quality of sleep has become more important though there’s definitely less of it! I’m doing my best to encourage a good night’s sleep for the whole family and this is what I do to help myself unwind and sleep better:
Caffeine is great after a bad night but if you want to sleep well the following night, it’s important to not consume drinks or foods (chocolate!) that contain caffeine too close to bedtime. I’d say definitely no later than 4pm. Instead, swap to a calming type of tea in the evening like Nipper & Co Sip ‘n’ Snore.
The same goes for food. My sisters like to make fun of me for eating dinner at 6pm (“like a pensioner”) but it’s actually better to eat at this time than closer to bedtime as it’s not ideal to sleep with a full belly. We have a family meal with the kids around 6pm most days and this works really well for all of us.
If you get stressed by having things that need doing, just do them before bedtime or at least make a to-do list ready for the next day. If I have enough time, I like to clean the kitchen and tidy the living room before unwinding in the evening so that I have a nice environment to relax in and I’m not thinking about the mess that I have to deal with. I also write a to-do list on my phone for any things that I need to remember to do the next morning.
Create a calming bedtime routine that works for you. On days when there’s plenty of time and the kids are in bed early, I love to have a hot bath with Weleda Lavender Relaxing Bath Milk, slip into a clean pyjamas and head downstairs for that cup of bedtime tea and a bit of TV watching with my husband.
The bedroom needs to be nice and calm too. Try to keep it as tidy and free of technology as possible. Invest in good quality bedding, duvets and pillows — I can’t wait to buy a new bed later this year when we move house. Also consider the temperature of the room. I find that I sleep better when the air in the room is a bit cool but I’m under a warm duvet. Find what works best for you and enjoy a good night’s sleep.