Nearly two years ago I wrote this post about sleep deprivation and how I was over talking about it.
Well guess what…I’m still talking about it. So NOT over it at all then.
Things came to a head a few weeks ago when I realised just how ridiculous it was trying to function on the small amount of sleep I was getting. I decided to make a concerted effort to help everyone in our house get some more sleep.
Now things are still far from perfect on the sleep front but improvements have been made since I took this shot of my sleep tracking app a few weeks ago.
Seeing as one of the key principles central to mindfulness is self-care. And fundamental to self-care is sleep…I knew something needed to be done.
So what did we do? Well this post isn’t a blow by blow account about sleep training – you can find loads of excellent posts from other parent bloggers about that. This is about three obscure things that have helped some people in our house get more sleep of late. These may help you. Or bearing in mind I am trying to stop myself buying pointless ‘stuff’ for people they may be a useful pressie or tip for a sleep deprived friend.
I know this is a bit random and I was extremely sceptical at first too. But since putting halved onions in our daughters’ bedroom, twin 1’s cough has not disturbed her half as much at night and has definitely meant less wake ups. Just be prepared for your house to whiff a little!
A Nightlight with a Red Glow
None of our children like a pitch black room so we’ve always had some light for them at night. However, I only just found out how good red light is for sleep and I can confirm it does seem much more restful. The girls have some Ikea red heart fairy lights and the eldest has a plug-in nightlight with a red bulb which I picked up easily and cheaply from Amazon. So from now on try to avoid night lights that are blue and white lights and encourage others to do the same.
A White Noise Machine
I had thought white noise was just for infants but we bought a white noise machine for our son’s room and it has definitely helped him. He seems to find the silence of the night scary. I remember being the same too. The good thing about a machine as opposed to an app is that he has control of choosing what type of noise is played – he tends to pick sounds of the ocean or rain as opposed to ‘pure’ white noise – and can choose when it’s on or off during the night.
Of course the best thing you can give someone who is sleep deprived doesn’t cost anything.
It’s simple – give them a chance to catch up on some sleep by looking after their kids for a couple of hours.
Make it clear that they should use that time to rest NOT to catch up on chores and personal admin and you will be someone they will feel immense gratitude towards. Kindness and gratitude are two cornerstones of mindfulness after all :-).
What helps people to get to sleep and stay asleep in your house?
I’d love to hear some more tips and tricks. Please fee free to add them to the comments box below.
Here’s wishing everyone a good night’s sleep!