World Sleep Day
World Sleep Day
World Sleep Day is happening on Friday 18th March. The slogan for 2022 is
Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World.
Sleep is a foundational pillar of health, and the quality of your sleep can impact not just your physical energy in the morning but your mental and emotional health, too. Join us this year in promoting quality sleep worldwide.
As a new parent, sleep can be hard to come by. Even hearing phrases such as 'sleep when the baby sleeps' can be triggering and unsupportive on so many levels.
The truth is that it's hard to sleep when the baby sleeps! So getting enough sleep, and good quality sleep is hard.
So let's focus on something else. How about optimising the times you are able to rest? And working on your sleep hygiene to make the most of the times you are able to sleep?
Sleep hygiene refers to where you sleep.
You may have heard of the phrase 'invest in rest'! So apply this! Think about what you are sleeping on.
Is your mattress comfortable? When did you last buy a new one?
Are your pillows and duvet comfortable?
And how do our senses relax at night? Are they triggered by noises... smells... lights...
Have you ever just stood in your room and used your senses as a guide to help you understand the changes you can make in your environment to support your sleep?
Are you someone who needs a blacked out room? Do you need to think about curtains and a blackout blind? Especially with the summer months on the way. Did you know our body stops producing melatonin in the early hours of the morning. Making it harder to go to sleep after those 3, 4, 5am feeds. If light is coming though to your room at this time, it'll be even harder to return to sleep.
The same goes for lights in your room. If you have a charger, or computer plugged in, or a digital clock, these lights can be an annoyance and stop you falling asleep easily. Especially if any of these lights are white or blue. Research shows that these colours again stop the production of melatonin, so using a screen, or having regular white or blue light 2 hours before sleep, and during the night will make it more difficult to fall asleep. Try switching to a yellow or red toned light for night feeds, and make sure your phone is switched on to night mode to stop the white and blue tones coming through.
Try the same with your other senses. Are there sounds that are disturbing you? The sound of the heating coming on in the morning? The dustbins being collected on a Wednesday morning just that little bit too early? Or next door's front door going?
Think about how you can drown out these sounds. hypnosis or meditation tracks, or a subtle white noise can work to limit background sounds that may wake you.
When it comes to navigating your newborn's sleep, be kind to yourself. Newborn sleep patterns change a lot in the first 6 months of life as their systems mature and they develop. There will be times where you get long stretches of sleep, and others where they may signal to you every 1.5 hours.
These are all normal.
Looking after yourself in the harder times is really important. Make life easier for you. Order in takeaways, leave the washing and adopt some co-sleeping or lay down feeding if you need to rest a little more (head to the Lullaby Trust's website for guidelines on safe bed sharing).
Reach out to friends to see whether they will take your baby for a walk while you catch up on sleep. And cancel appointments so you can stay home and look after yourself.
Reach out to us too if you need support in any way.
Learn more about World Sleep Day here, and how to optimise your sleep for your mental health.
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