There are two things parents can count on when raising a family: Endless opportunities to build life-affirming moments and bad sleep patterns. With a newborn, the idea of a peaceful night of uninterrupted sleep becomes a fleeting memory. When the child grows up, they will settle into their own sleep patterns and it will be time for mom and dad to readjust to their nocturnal routines. The path to a good night’s sleep is to overcome some of the common causes that can disrupt those sleep patterns.
A Bad Sleep Environment
Everyone has different needs when it comes to creating a good sleep environment. Some folks require a sleeping mask while others need earplugs. It helps if the overall sleep environment is conducive to generating sleep. Blackout curtains and a cool temperate set at 68 degrees can go a long way towards creating that positive environment. It will also help to turn the television off. Falling asleep with the TV on will actually disrupt the sleep. Ideally, bedtime should be for sleeping and that means no work, texting or emailing while in bed.
One of the signs of clinical depression is the desire to stay in bed all day. Ironically, this doesn’t often mean that quality sleep is involved. Being treated for depression, such as taking antidepressants or undergoing Pulse TMS treatment, is essential to help re-adjust those sleep patterns. Some of that treatment might include prescribed medications that can help with sleep. The goal is to reach a point where the treatment for depression is helping the parent deal with the underlying issues and creating a path towards feeling better.
Poor Diet Choices
A light snack before bedtime might help your morning depending on what that snack will be. However, when you wait until late in the night to have spicy or heavy foods, then you might be causing a disruption to your sleeping. You probably already have a list of foods that will most likely cause heartburn. Those should be avoided within several hours of you attempting to get to sleep. All of that acid reflux can definitely keep you awake at night.
Would you consider yourself to be more stressed than a year ago? There are a lot of issues that can trigger stress such as finances, pressures at work and how your kids are doing in school. When the mind races at night, it is extremely challenging to drift off into a peaceful slumber. This is why you should try to develop coping mechanisms to help you deal with the stress. Practicing meditation is a solid approach to learning how to quiet the mind. This is actually something you could do before going to sleep and it might actually lead you into sleep.
Do you have a coffee cut off time? Many studies have found that stopping the caffeine intake at least seven hours before bedtime is a good goal to strive for. Along with caffeine, nicotine is also a stimulant that can keep you up at night. You should also be careful with your alcohol consumption. While it is true that drinking liquor can make you drowsy it can also prevent deep sleep. You might find yourself waking up more often through the night after several cocktails.
Once you identify the issues that are keeping you up at night, it is important to find a consistent approach to turning them around. Poor sleep can have a major impact throughout the day and lead to you playing “catch up” for days after. Make your sleep a priority. It is that important.