New Year, New You – Rest and rehabilitation as part of a healthy New Year’s Resolution

Part 4 – Sleep

If you are exercising a lot then you need to ensure you get adequate rest. Sleep is obviously essential but you need to ensure that you are getting enough undisturbed sleep every night. This is fairly impossible when you have small children. We all know babies and midnight milk walkers keep everyone up. But here are few simple tips from my experience.

No screen time an hour before sleep. A bit of a no-brainer. Google it.

Get a Fitbit. I use the fitbit blaze. Amongst other features, it has a sleep tracker. This brilliant piece of technology can determine when I am asleep. It wirelessly records my sleep to my account so I can log on and see a full report of my sleep patterns. The patterns also include sleep disturbance which is very important as it’s continuous deep sleep that we are interested in.

One often overlooked tool to sleep is the pillow. My Pillow is a Dunlopillo Celeste Pillow, Firm. The Celeste pillow creates a wonderfully breathable and comfortable resting place for tired heads. It’s perfect for those, like me, who like to sleep on their side. It offers the correct support throughout the night, allowing air to flow freely through to ensure it stays fresh and hygienic for longer. On the theme of pillows, Rachel from the website pillowpicker.com says statistics show a third of the population is sleep deprived. She has written a superb guide to the health benefits of sleep. It’s a comprehensive and well-researched article. Read it here.

Top parenting tip, get yourself a large enough bed for everyone. There is no doubt that at some point in the baby years, you will have everyone in the same bed. Some nights are just like that. To ensure everyone gets a comfortable sleep, everyone needs as much space as they can get. We are lucky enough to have space in the room for a Super King size. 70s houses are quite spacious.

Buy a good mattress every 10 years. How long your mattress will last depends on several factors like usage and its original quality, but generally speaking, it’s gotta go after that 10-year mark. It won’t provide you much support and comfort after that. Baby puke, spilt milk and other unmentionables contribute to a worn out smelly nasty berth that a dog wouldn’t sleep on. I think of it this way, would you be embarrassed if other people saw the state of your mattress when moving house? If so, then it’s got to go.

Also, many believe that a firm mattress is good for your back. This is not exactly true as sleeping on a mattress that is too firm creates aches and pains on pressure points rather than catering for the spine’s natural curvature.

 I love to hear reports that napping at work is slowly becoming acceptable. There is nothing worse than that horrible urge to close your eyes and doze in the middle of an important meeting. I love watching others that are in that state and as they lean to the side they startle themselves awake, wondering what just happened and wiping the drool off their chin.

I know the term Power Napping was a thing not long ago but I do believe that a coffee followed by 20 mins with your eyes shut is very refreshing. Not only resting your eyes from the screen but letting your mind take some time out. If you fear that you would fall into a deep sleep in the breakout area, hold a notebook or folder in your hand. When in deep sleep, your hand will lose grip and the item will fall to the floor and wake you up. If none of this works then leave the kids with Granny and get a hotel room.

Have fun!

Next – hydration