If you have children, then you will be more than aware of what sleep deprivation is. For some, it feels like being cursed with a constant hangover, and for others, brain fog is a common occurrence.
Looking after children or going to work every day is hard enough, but when you add a lack of sleep into the mix, it's a completely different ball game. Thankfully there are many things that you can try that could make things a little easier. Here are 4 hints and tips for sleep-deprived parents.
When they sleep, you sleep!
If you are a stay at home parent with children who take regular naps each day, try to sleep when they do. Yes, you might have a list as long as your arm of things you want to get done or would love ten minutes alone time, but napping when they do is the best time to catch a bit of shut-eye and recuperate. Even if you only get 15 minutes of sleep, it could give you the boost that you need to keep you going until bedtime.
Is your bed giving you the support you need?
If your lack of sleep is primarily due to you being in pain or your bed just being extremely uncomfortable, it's a good idea to think about investing in a new one. We spoke to a specialist bed shop in Beverley, UK who stated that 80% of adults suffer from back pain, many cases of which are often the result of doing lots of lifting. When you have children, much of your day can be spent lifting and carrying them around which can worsen the problem. The right sleeping posture and a mattress that offers support in the right places is essential if you want to sleep better.
Share the load
If you and your partner are both struggling with sleep deprivation due to your children waking multiple times a night, think about implementing a rota system. The same applies if you have a young baby that is bottle feeding. Taking turns to get up gives the other parent a chance to get a more decent chunk of sleep in one go and should help you to feel a little more human the next day. Use the weekends to cram as much sleep as you can whilst the other parent tends to the kids. It's not an ideal situation, but it could be the perfect temporary solution until your children get a bit older.
Tire them out
If your children are older but still wake regularly in the night, consider whether they could benefit from increased daily exercise. We all sleep better when our bodies are physically tired, and fresh air can also help us to relax and sleep.
If you don't do so already, contemplate going out for family walks after dinner. It should help to make the children feel tired, and will hopefully result in the whole family getting a well-deserved rest.
Need some help? Find baby sleep consultants here.