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Six ways to reclaim a good night’s sleep

by Philippa Fisher on August 24, 2016

A good night’s sleep is one of the best things we can do for our mental and physical wellbeing, yet most of us aren’t getting the amount we need – and it is taking its toll! 

Whether you are suffering from parent related sleep deprivation, having to work late to ‘get it all done’ or keep waking up on the couch after trying to catch some 'me­ time’, here are six tips to help you get a little more quality shut­eye. 

1. Establish a routine for you 

We all know the importance of children having a bedtime routine, but did you know if is just important for us? Don’t wait until you are exhausted and fall into bed (or on the couch!) set a regular bedtime before 11 pm and purposely go to your room at the same time. 

Instead of reaching for your laptop, phone or tablet, try reading or writing down your thoughts to disconnect from all those ‘reminders’ that seem to hit you every time your head hits the pillow. 

2. Get in sync with light and dark 

In the evening prepare your body for sleep by slowing your activity 

down. Where possible, avoid working late or doing strenuous housework. When you are ready for sleep, make sure it is dark, and you eliminate the glow of lamps or gadgets. 

When you wake up, open up the blinds or go for a quick walk outside (if it isn’t in the middle of winter!) to help your body adjust to the light.

3. Enhance the comfort factor 

Your bedroom environment plays a significant role in the quality of sleep you get. A good quality mattress, comfortable bedding, fresh pillows, and an even temperature can all help you to have a better sleep. You may also want to consider some calming sounds or even essential oils to help ease you into sleep. 

4. Get a night light for the kids 

Let’s face it as parents most of our sleep disruption is not due to our own doing. If you find your little ones are consistently waking you or jumping in your bed due to waking scared, consider getting them a night light. 

A night light can help your child see there is nothing to be afraid of, and it can also assist them with the transition of taking those late night bathroom trips alone. 

5. Get to the root of the problem 

If most of your sleep deprivation is a result of young children not sleeping, no amount of self 

pampering will help you overcome this. You need to get to the root of the problem. 

If your child is still young, it may pay to talk to a sleep consultant who can give you advice and strategies to try that is personalised to your child and situation. If your child is older, try a star chart and reward them each night they stay in their room. 

6. Take a nap 

More and more research is showing that short power naps can help you feel more refreshed. A word of advice if you do manage to sneak one of these magical moments ­ make sure they are before 3pm in the afternoon and not longer than 30 minutes otherwise you’ll feel groggy for the rest of the afternoon and evening. 

Do you have any tips for reclaiming sleep?

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