Browse Tag by sleep
Wellness

Sleeping tips for bad sleepers

If you’ve ever had sleep paralysis then you’ll know it’s the worst experience ever. It’s where your mind is awake but your body is still asleep, so essentially you’re paralysed. I would panic, thinking I couldn’t breath and then finally when I was able to move, I was scared to fall asleep again. I grew out of that eventually but continued to have nightmares every night, so when my husband confirmed that I was legit possessed, kicking and punching him in my sleep I realised I needed to do something about it. So here are my sleeping tips for bad sleepers:

Avoid dairy after dinner

I discovered that ice-cream and yoghurt made me snore and google told me that eating cheese and chocolate at night caused nightmares so apart from the occasional Tim Tam, I cut out dairy after dinner.

No screens

I don’t own an Ipad and we are a no-TV-in-the-bedroom kinda family. My Iphone screen goes on night mode at 7pm and I stop looking at it completely at 9pm.

Have a notepad next to the bed

I used to constantly wake at night worrying about work, by having a notepad and pen next to the bed I could write down what I needed to do the next day and go back to sleep.

Stop drinking alcohol

I’m pretty convinced this was the holy grail in resolving my sleep issues.

Get more sleep 

OK so you might be thinking how do I get more sleep when the issue is I can’t sleep? Well you’ve most probably heard the saying ‘sleep promotes sleep’ which is true. Try to go to bed earlier, even if you don’t try to sleep straight away, you can read or write a gratitude list or meditate.

Set an alarm

If you have something on the next day then set an alarm, even if you don’t need to be somewhere until 12pm. You don’t want to wake up in a panic thinking you’ve slept in, only to discover it’s 5am.

Get your own doona

I have to sleep with something covering me, even in summer. In winter I need to be wrapped up in a cocoon, my husband does too so we stopped stealing the doona from each other and just use one each. Problem solved.

Don’t overdress

I read somewhere that if you wake at night needing to go to the toilet then it’s a sign your body needs to cool down. If you’re cold getting into bed then get in to bed with layers and then take them off once you’re warm and ready to sleep.

Night time ritual 

A bedtime routine is important for babies but it’s also important for adults. I do the same thing every night without fail. Before I got pregnant with Will I used to have a cup of herbal sleep tea before bed each night which I loved but make sure it’s caffeine free.

White noise

My husband isn’t a fan of white noise but if we sleep in the same room as Will then we always have it on heavy rainfall. I fall asleep much quicker and sometimes don’t even remember waking in the night.

Drink water early in the day 

I used to drink most of my water in the afternoon and wake up busting to go to the toilet. Too lazy to actually get up, I would just wake every sleep cycle until morning when I couldn’t hold off any longer. Since the wellness challenge started I have drunk most of my water in the morning so getting up at night isn’t an issue anymore.

Aeroplane Mode

I read somewhere that phone signals and wifi interupt your brain waves so I put my phone on aeroplane mode every night. Pete doesn’t but I’m convinced that the phone being on his side of the bed means only his brain waves are affected.

Meditate

I pretend I’m walking on a winding path, surrounded by various landscapes until I get to a magical garden where I get into a hot spring and relax. I take the journey really slow and now it’s part of my bedtime routine, I fall asleep quickly.

Tense & Relax

Tense and then relax every muscle in your body. Start at your toes, then feet, then ankles, then calves, then thighs, all the way up your body, through your arms and to your head.

Practice Gratitude

Instead of stressing or worrying about things, try practicing gratitude. Think of 10 things that happened during the day to be grateful for.

Daydream

I’m obsessed with Real Estate, particularly what kind of mansion I’m going to buy when I win the lottery. Similar to the meditation, I do a walk through of my dream home.

Read

I read my kindle every night before sleep, sometimes I only get one or two pages and then I have to turn it off. When I was younger I used to stay up most of the night reading so be careful because this could be counter productive.

No caffeine after 12pm

Cut out coffee, caffeinated teas, soft drinks and chocolate. Read up on Sarah Moore’s post to find out how long caffeine stays in your system. 

Herbal tablets

I was hesitating whether to mention this but when I was younger Valerian worked for me and in later years I took magnesium. It was probably all the placebo effect but worth a try if you’re desperate.

Get professional help

If all else fails then consult your GP. You may need a psychologist or a sleep clinic.

 

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Motherhood

Sleep while the baby sleeps

I wasn’t really given much advice before having a baby but something I was told over and over was ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’.

During Pregnancy

It was annoying to hear ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ before having a baby because it seemed so obvious. I smiled and nodded every time I heard it while secretly rolling my eyes thinking ‘Duh’.

The baby arrives

It was annoying when people said ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ because the baby arrived and I didn’t feel like it. Sleep deprivation hadn’t set in yet and honestly I thought I was able to cope with broken sleep and didn’t need to ‘catch up’. I had way more important things to do like watching him to make sure he was still breathing. I wanted to look at photos and videos of him on my phone and when I ran out of photos I was in a baby google frenzy.

A few months in 

It was annoying when people said ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’ a few months in because it became obvious I had missed my window to ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’. I started expressing full time at 12 weeks which took up 4-6 hours a day because I had a hand held single pump, I simply didn’t have time to sleep.

five months

At this point I realised the advice was correct and I needed to ‘sleep while the baby sleeps’. No-one managed to pass this information onto my son though. He decided that around the same time I started mixed feeding and had time to sleep that he should start catnapping. By the time I got him down, washed the bottles, had a shower and climbed into bed he would wake up minutes later.

Seven months deep

Now I’ve completely given up on ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’. His current phase is not wanting to sleep at all during the day unless I hold him so I find myself getting to know the neighborhood really well, driving around until he goes to sleep. If that fails then I go for a walk through a shopping centre in the baby carrier and boom he’s out.

If I had any advice to give to first time mums – definitely sleep while the baby sleeps.. if you can!  

sleep while the baby sleeps
Definitely sleep as much as possible before the little vampire arrives.
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Motherhood

My 5 Stages of Morning

I’ve been grieving lately, grieving the loss of sleep so I thought I would take you through my five stages of morning… or should I say mourning.

Stage 1: Denial 

It’s way too early, it’s still dark outside… He can’t be waking up now… He might resettle on his own… OK maybe I’ll just pop the dummy back in and he’ll go right back to sleep… I’ll get another few hours sleep for sure… Actually I better set my alarm in case he sleeps too long and we’re late getting up.

Stage 2: Bargaining 

He’s still awake. Seriously baby if you give me one more hours sleep I’ll give you my first born.. wait that makes no sense. I will give you all the pureed pear your heart desires. I will sing ‘twinkle twinkle’ until my hands fall off. I will let you fall asleep in my arms, heck I will sleep in the cot with you if you please just go back to sleep.

Stage 3: Anger

What. Is. Wrong. With. You?!

You’ve been fed, I’ve changed your nappy, I’ve burped you, I turned on the heater, I gave you an extra blanket, I put a glass of water on the desk in case the air was too dry from the heater. I turned off the lamp, I changed the white noise from rainfall to fan, I turned off the heater, I turned on the nightlight, I bounced you on the fitball, I shhhed you, I rocked you in the chair, I turned on the nightlight… what else could you possibly need?

Stage 4: Depression 

I’m never going to sleep properly ever again for the rest of my life. I will never remember what it is like to have energy.

Stage 5: Acceptance 

You’re just a sweet little baby who spent 9 months in my womb, it’s not your fault you don’t want to be apart from me. Come lie in mummies arms and I’ll sing you a lullaby…. Ahhh asleep at last.

stages of morning
Is this sunset or sunrise… I don’t even know any more.
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