Learning the tricks Parents use for regular, good, sleep.
If your own existence is ruined by lack of sleep, or because your child seems to avoid sleep like the plague, then you are not alone.
It is one of the biggest hurdles faced by mothers and fathers of young children, but we seem to struggle through and just catch-up when we can.
So what do we do about it?
An old friend reminded me to look to the past. Before electricity was readily available, people went to bed at dusk and woke at dawn. Sounds old fashioned, but it makes sense. We used natures cues to trigger our sleep patterns.
This is far from what happens now in the modern home. Lights and TV are on well after dark and our temperature is controlled to a certain degree to afford us comfort. But is it costing us a good nights sleep?
How can the body have natural processes when we are surrounded by our artificial environment?
We have to set up routines and patterns that will trigger the same response of ‘it’s time to start falling asleep’.
Easier said than done though hey?
But with persistence, a routine can be made, and if it’s held religiously, then it should work.
Best practices to try:
Develop a PRE-bedtime routine.
- Mimic the natural adjustment of daylight into dark. Our house needs to get darker, slightly, as bed time gets closer.
- TV then shower then glass of water. Over an hour or so, this 3 step action will help the body to start the unwind process that allows for sleepiness to creep in. It’s no secret that screen time ‘blue light’ is bad for sleep so TV is a better option and sitting on the couch together is really awesome together time.
- Toilet then brush teeth then bed time story (optional). Another 2/3 step process that tells the body that you are going to bed now to sleep.
Routine is key.
- Time of the night is key.
- All this is most effective if it is done the same way every day and at the same time every night.
- Our brains are really good at anticipating, and your child is no different. Knowing what is going to happen next and when, creates contentment. This is important for sleep and will allow for a good nights sleep too.
This is the practice I have used for years and it works for me. Everyone will have different strategies that work for their unique situation.
I just want you to explore the idea of recreating the natural process of sleep that evolution created.
Our modern lifestyle doesn’t have to affect our sleep if we are smart about it.
Please note that sleep disorders are only diagnosed and treated by professionals, and if your worried that you or your child may be suffering from a sleep disorder, then you should seek the advice of your practitioner. Information is available from
Sleep Health Foundation (Australian website)
and links from there will guide you to more info should you need it.
Knowledge is power.
Sleep well people.