Sleep is precious for parents but let’s face it, it also tends to be sparse.
Which is precisely why we’ve put together a list of little tips – taken from scientific studies, advice pieces and personal experience – that helps you to wind down after a long day.
While we can’t promise that your night won’t be interrupted, we can try to help you head off to the land of nod. Here are a few things that might make sleep come a little easier…
Read a book
Reading is a popular bedtime activity, not only because it’s enjoyable but it’s also a form of ‘me time’ which is precious. It also requires brain power which is why you will often find yourself fighting to keep your eyes open after a few chapters.
Turn off your phone (or put it on silent)
Artificial light and notifications from phones and other devices can also stop you from falling asleep soon after your head hits the pillow. The National Sleep Foundation found in 2011 that using your phone before bed enhances alertness thus disrupts sleep patterns.
Drink a cup of warm milk
While this has recently been exposed as one of the great sleeping myths (it turns out that it doesn’t actually affect sleep patterns), the routine of having a glass of warm milk before jumping into bed can help you to unwind due to psychological association. Perhaps it is a myth worth passing down through the generations!
Enjoy a glass of wine
We’re not saying to sip on a glass every night, a study conducted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that those who consume either red or white wine enjoy better sleep quality than those who opt for a glass of water.
Tuck in the little ones
Again this comes down to patterns and routine. Tucking in your kids is usually one of the last things you do at night so why not make it the last thing? That way, your body will associate it with your bedtime too and besides, we can’t think of a better way to end the day.
Last year researchers discovered that people who learn and practice mindfulness exercises, including meditation, which help them focus on the moment experience less insomnia and fatigue. They also tend to have a happier state of mind.
Jot down your thoughts
One of our biggest issues when trying to drift off is thinking about all the things we have to do in the morning. We find that jotting down a ‘To Do’ list not only ensures that we don’t forget something but it also helps us to de-stress and switch off.
Have a bath
Did you know that a study once concluded that children cried less and slept more after having a bath using lavender-scented oils? Well, it did and we reckon it’s safe to say that it would work for everyone regardless of their age. Or at least we’re willing to draw a bath based on this assumption.