Wednesday 23 January 2013

How do you sleep?

Before becoming a parent I never thought about sleep because I actually slept and had hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep. Now I am a parent sleep is very precious to me because those nights of uninterrupted hours of sleep are distant memories and I am now often sleep deprived thanks to my little man. 

Even before little man was born and he was cocooned snugly in my womb my sleep was interrupted….waking frequently because my bladder felt full yet again and another trip to the toilet was called for, being constantly kicked by my little baby who always woke up to party in my womb when it was mummy’s bedtime and struggling to find a comfortable position thanks to my pregnant belly to get some much need zzzzz’s.

Then little man was born and I was even more sleep deprived than before. We woke often and regular through the night in particular because little man was breastfeeding on demand and as such I would not get much sleep during the night. Little man is not much of a sleeper and even as a newborn he would not sleep much in the day but when he would settle for a nap I would have a nap too because otherwise I was like the walking dead. I often wished I could be a hibernating mama bear, cosily sleeping with my little cub but as little man is just like his daddy and a little night owl who would happily party like a rock star all night and catch some zzz’s in the day this wish never came to fruition and instead I was more like a grizzly bear, grumpy thanks to no sleep.
Thankfully little man’s sleeping has improved (he would still happily party all night though if he had his way) and he sleeps through apart from when he is ill or unsettled from teething. Even though we sleep better now I have a new appreciation for sleep. As I now appreciate sleep and I am grateful when I get a rare night of magical, uninterrupted hours and hours of sleep I found a great infographic from Ibis about sleep very interesting.

I found it amazing to learn that we spend 1/3 of our lives asleep and surprising that 2 out of 3 people struggle to get a good night’s sleep. As such a large proportion of people suffer from not having a good night’s sleep it is surprising that we do not give sleep more attention especially when you consider that it takes up a big portion of our lives and getting enough sleep is important for our health and happiness. 

I found it refreshing that sleep facts have been highlighted because as a parent of a little night owl I know how precious sleep is. After a long day with my busy little man who is always on the go in spite of how much sleep he has hadI am often very tired and looking forward to crawling into bed to sleep however when I finally get cosy in bed I find I sometimes cannot unwind and struggle to drift off to sleep. I have also noticed that if I have worries in my life they affect my sleep and I get a bad night’s sleep, tossing and turning through the night with my worries disturbing my sleep. As I sometimes struggle to fall asleep or have a poor sleep due to concerns in my life I found it interesting to learn about foods that are reported to aid getting a good night’s sleep. The most surprising food for me was ‘lettuce’. I find it really interesting to think lettuce could help and unlike ‘warm milk’ which is often associated with sleep I would never have dreamt that lettuce could be helpful for a good night’s sleep. I often have a cup of camomile tea with a hint of honey before bed but I have never consciously connected it with a good night’s sleep but I plan on testing the theory out and seeing whether I do sleep better after having a mug of camomile and honey tea and if it does not help at least I have had a tasty, warm cup of tea to warm me up before bed.

I particularly found the sleeping positions interesting and like the little descriptions about the characteristics of the people who sleep in that particular position. According to Lee I am very fidgety in my sleep especially when I am worrying about things, moving into all manner of positions through the night but most often I sleep in ‘the foetus’ position which according to the infographic is the most common sleeping position with 41% of people sleeping in this position. At times I am also a sleeptalker as is little man who babbles and giggles in his sleep.

Which position do you sleep in? Are you like most people and sleep in ‘the foetus’ position or are you more of a ‘starfish’ or perhaps you are sleeping in ‘the yearner’ position? Are you a ‘sleeptalker’ or are you ‘sleepwalker’?

What foods would you suggest are good for aiding a good night’s sleep? Do you have any other tips for getting a good night’s sleep??

I hope you are one of the 1 out of 3 people who do not struggle to get a good night’s sleep but if you are sleep deprived I can sympathize with you and wish you the best in getting a good night’s sleep.

Hopefully I will be having more good night’s sleep in the future that is if little man agrees that mummy deserves a few nights uninterrupted sleep.

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1 comment:

  1. I love this post. I'm a terrible sleeper. Just like you, my mind suddenly switches on as soon as the light is off and my head hits the pillow. More often than not, it takes me a good hour or more before I can finally drift off but I usually wake 2-3 times in the night. This has got worse since my daughter was born in July. She's a very good sleeper. She slept through from 10 weeks of age but then we had a couple of months of numerous wakings due to leaps and teething. We've taken her dummy off her now at 6 months of age and she sleeps through again ... but I don't.

    The food thing is very interesting. I may give it a go!

    K x