If you have a child who is experiencing sleep challenges, it goes without saying that sleep will be scarce for you too.

As a busy parent caring for your child, your sleep needs are crucial (think putting your oxygen mask on before helping others!).

Having disrupted sleep for a long period of time may mean you have challenges with your own sleep patterns that might need some attention. 

Through my own mission to get good quality zzzs, I have collected a selection of tools that really have helped me. They might be obvious, but in your sleepy state they may not be at the forefront of your mind.

Feel free to use one or all, building it into your day. It only takes a few minutes and could work wonders.

1. Eye eye captain

An eye patch can really help to shut out the world and calm down your brain in order to get to sleep quickly.

This is particularly relevant at the moment with all the light evenings and early mornings.

I wear it every night without fail.

2. Crank up the routine

Whatever time you are going to bed at the moment, give yourself the best lead up you can.

This doesn’t have to involve elaborate rituals, but winding down at least one hour before getting into bed including no caffeinated drinks or stimulating activities can really help to get you off to slumberland.

3. Be a bit boring about bedtime

To really get your body in the sleep groove, go to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends.

If you are getting up in the night to take care of your child, it is an idea to go to bed early.

Give yourself as much chance to fill the sleep tank as possible.

4. Drink a sleepy blend or milky drink

I’ve tried a few of these. Good old Horlicks is calming, warm and lovely.

I have also been trialling some sleep infusions. Sleep Easy and Snore and Peace by clipper are fantastic.

They have a lovely blend of lavender and chamomile as well as things like orange and cinnamon. The aroma really helps to relax down too.

5. Hot shower or bath

As a parent, I don’t get time to have a bath before bed now, but scientifically it is a very good sleep aid.

Our bodies have an internal thermostat and once it cools down it acts as a sleepy switch.

Instead of a bath, I now have a very quick hot shower before bed, it really works and is very relaxing!

6. Pillow spray/candle

Before getting into bed I lit a lavender candle for a while until I had finished reading. It really helped me to feel relaxed and definitely helped get me to sleep.

The problem was I couldn’t keep lighting it when I woke up in the night. Instead I ordered a pillow spray from This Works. And it really does!

Just inhaling the waft of a few spritzes has me falling into a deep sleep. If I wake in the night I give it another spray and hey presto!

7. A bit of mindful breathing

Breathing deeply for just a few minutes, and thinking of nothing else but the in and out if your breath can do wonders at clearing your head of all the days worries and thoughts.

The mindfulness daily app is free and has some excellent exercises that only take a few minutes.

If you have a little more time, I recommend reading the book Mindfulness by Danny Penman. The Ebook version contains the meditations you need right there in the book.

8. Read a few pages of a book

Even if it’s just five minutes – this can also help to take your mind off the day and transport you somewhere else.

This distraction can really help your brain to wind down.

 

To quote Dr Weissbluth, the most important goal is a well-rested family, and hopefully these tips can ensure you can get to sleep too! 

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