Sleep like a baby – How Ridiculous! It’s an old saying to “sleep like a baby”, but the fact of the matter is the majority of babies aren’t great sleepers.
In this post, we’ll use babies as a GREAT example of our primal need for good sleep. You may think, but babies keep adults up at night!” This is true, but here we want to demonstrate the wisdom from babies’ body awareness. It sends a clear message to Adults, why they might not be sleeping that well(outside of early parenthood! :-)). Let’s take a page out of a baby’s book and analyse what are they telling us about being a good sleeper.
Observation #1: Babies that are cold, wake up and are restless.
Lesson Learned: You need enough layers to be toasty but not too hot to sleep deeply.
For You to Put into Practice: Stay Warm. You need to be able to regulate your body temperature- not too hot and not too cold.
- Take a look at your bedding layers- are they too thick? too thin?
- What do you wear to bed? Light pajamas? or Flanelette and
- How does your body respond to that? If you’re pulling layers off in the middle of the night, experiment with changing your layers for warmth.
- Fans, Air conditioning, open windows should be used to your tolerance levels if you get too hot.
Observation #2 : Distracting lights and sounds wake babies up.
Lesson Learned: You need a dark, quiet room.
For You to Put into Practice: How can you make your sleep environment more inviting for a deep sleep?
- Are the windows fully covered?
- Get blinds or curtains to block out street lamps.
- If your digital clock beams bright lights in your face, swap clocks, get a new, silent, darker one.
- TV’s do NOT belong in the bedroom. Sorry- this is a place for you to sleep, not watch TV. Although you may think it makes you sleepy, its too much stimulation for your eyes and brain, especially if you used to watch it in the darkened room.
- TV’s clocks that buzz and whirr in the night are just one other thing to distract you.
Observation # 3: Over-stimulation delays baby’s natural sleep rhythms.
Lesson Learned: Over-stimulation delays your natural sleep rhythms.
Missing your window of feeling sleepy means sometimes you ‘get a second wind.’ Your Brain was thinking, “ok its time to wind down” and then when you don’t respond to that signal and instead go watch TV, your Brain then thinks, “OK I was wrong, we’re staying up some more.” You get a second wind , a surge of energy and push through your natural sleepy signs, cutting yourself short of those extras hours you may need and setting yourself up for a lethargic feeling tomorrow.
For you to Put Into Practice: How can you keep your mind and brain settled before bed?
- This means No screen time before bed, especially tablets or smart phones. The blue screen plays havoc with your sleep hormones and tricks your brain into thinking it’s still light outside and delays melatonin release.
- No smoking before bed
- No alcohol before bed – this one is deceptive. You think a drink will make you sleepy, but alcohol has a stimulating effect.
- Use meditation or sleep apps from the itunes store. I recommend Calm, Sleep Stream or Peaceful Sleep for Women. This can be just 10 mins before you got to sleep, using headphones or a dock.
- Read a book, talk to your loved ones, play cards, knit, anything that relaxes you and calms you down will support better sleep patterns.
If you need more help because you’ve not slept in years, are exhausted adnd lethargic, connect with us at The Family Wellness Centre. We’d love to hear your story about what’s affecting your sleep, so share with us and get in touch today. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us today on 9938 1090 to make an appointment with our Kinesiologist, Nutritionist, Clinical Hypnotherapist or Acupuncturist.