When it comes to our children having a good night’s sleep, leaving them refreshed, active and calm, it is a fundamental part of parenting to get their bedtimes just right. To begin with, when our children are young, it can be quite difficult to get our children into a routine as they tend to wake up a few times during the night either because their body has naturally woken them up or they are hungry and would like some milk to help them drop off again. However, once a routine is firmly in place and our children are reacting to it and are used to it, bedtime does tend to get a whole lot easier. We find that we can go to bed in the knowledge that we will not be woken up at 2am, 4am and 5am and will be able to indulge in a full night’s sleep – after a few years of structuring a young child’s bedtime this can seem like heaven.
On the other hand, though, it is common for a lot of parents to suffer with sleeping at night. This can be due to a number of factors: our bodies have gotten used to waking up sporadically throughout the night; we worry about how well our children are sleeping; or stress is taking its toll on the capacity and focus of our minds.
There are things you can do, though, to let yourself ease into a restful night’s sleep, once again. When your children are put to bed and are sound asleep, take the time to allow yourself to de-stress. This can involve a number of things: take a long, warm, bath; sit in a peaceful room in the house and read a book or enjoy a hot drink or a glass of wine; talk on the phone to family and friends. It could also be a good idea to think about how to choose your comforter warmth – ensuring you are comfortable and relaxed.
If it is warm in the house, open a window in your bedroom. This will allow fresh air to enter the room, and while in bed you will also be able to hear the nature outside. Birds tweeting can be a really relaxing sound to listen to as you fall asleep. If you work from home, avoid checking emails and working on your computer late at night. This can add unneeded tension and stress to your eyes and brain – leaving your mind unfocused and jumbled with the business of work.
If you are really struggling to settle down for a good night’s sleep, and it has been an ongoing problem for a while, it could be a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor or even do some research online as to what symptoms you are suffering from. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, this can have a detrimental effect on your daily life and can mean you will get less things done and won’t be able to focus on your children’s needs as much as you’d like.