Sleep – where do I begin to describe my love for thee? Sleep is one of the most fundamental necessities in life. When we do not get enough our mental and physical health nose dives pretty fast! Now, everyone needs good sleep, but it is especially important for parents and children. We’re meant to get an average of 7 to 9 hours per night, but new parents struggle to reach anywhere near that number. One of the most important reasons sleep is so crucial, especially for women, is that sleep deprivation can worsen postpartum depression (which affects one in eight mothers). Sleep helps you to form memories, repairs tissue and cells, and prevents you from getting sick (according to the American Sleep Foundation). You need to be on your A-game so that you can have enough energy and stamina to keep up with your little gems!
Sleep is also super important in order to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. If one parent feels like they are continually losing more sleep it will not take too long for agitation and resentment to set in. A new child in the family should be the happiest time for you and your partner – sleep needs to be prioritised. Make sure you have a good sleep environment – comfortable temperature, sharing of parental duties, cute night time rituals like reading a story altogether or taking a bath. Make sure you and your partner are on the same page. Share how you feel, communicate your needs and establish an equitable nightly routine.
Now, sleep hygiene is not only important for the adults….it is just as important for the munchkins! If your child is not getting enough sleep they will wake up moody, irritable, they make throw temper tantrums and they might be hyperactive. If your child is at home with you, this will be the makings of a difficult day for all! As much as you will suffer, your child will equally too. The same concept of healthy room environments and night routines discussed above for adults is absolutely crucial for kids too. They need to get into a set regime – regular crash and wake up times. If your little one or ones are in school, sleep will be super important in order for them to remain focused throughout the day and to stay alert. They need sleep just as much as we do in order to feel motivated the next day and to sustain energy levels.
Sleep is essential and it allows our body to relax, revitalise and repair. Good sleep helps immune function and prevents sickness. We need it for energy and to also keep our cool! Whatever you do next, make sure it includes setting up for a night of shut eye!