Today, I want to talk about an important topic that we all as parents are deprived of – SLEEP. In March, World Sleep Day is celebrated as an initiative to bring awareness on sleep issues. According to worldsleepday.org, sleep problems constitute a global epidemic that threatens health and quality of life for up to 45% of the world’s population. But only ⅓ or less of this population seeks help.
As a hyper parent of two hyper-energetic boys, I must say I regularly sleep for 6-7 hours per night. It is not always easy as my kid’s sleep late and their schools begin very early. Here are some things that help me and them to sleep better in the night and maintain our circadian rhythms:
FOR THE KIDS
These are not in any particular order and not done daily but I have seen these to be very effective for kids to have an undisturbed sleep.
- Reiki – I am a Reiki Master Practitioner and I give my boys Reiki every other day while sleeping. It helps calm their anxiety or any hyper energy down.
- Books – We read one book (sometimes 5) at least before sleeping. It gives us all a focussed time together. My kids enjoy stories and it helps them feel happy at the end of the day to get that focused attention. We all are busy during the day and sometimes kids can feel neglected on days where parents have work assignments to complete at home. An activity together helps them feel more loved.
- Having a conversation – My younger kid is small for this. But for my 6 and a half-year-old, having conversations at night when lights are off are a great way for him to share his love for life, the troubles he might be facing at school or any questions he may have that he was not sure he could ask all day long. It is also great for him because it is his one on one time with us without the younger brother and he can talk without being disturbed by the other one. It helps him relax.
- No Nap Time – This is especially for kids 4 and up. They sleep better at night and earlier and longer hours if their nap time is taken away. It helps them get ready for becoming an older kid and preserving energy throughout the day.
- Playing one last Star Wars game before getting ready for bed – Boys have a lot of energy and until it is used up, it is hard for them to sleep. Every day after dinner and bath, they get their daddy time playing with lightsabers. They have a lot of fun jumping around the house pretending to be Jedi or Kylo Ren.
FOR THE PARENTS
These are not in any particular order and not done daily but I have seen these to be very effective for myself to have an undisturbed sleep.
- Writing down worries and tearing papers out – If I acknowledge my worries and write them out and tear them out as a way of letting them go, it helps me relax. In today’s world of uncertainty, anxiety in parents is at an all-time high.
- Self Reiki – If I am feeling highly anxious or not very sleepy, I give myself Reiki. It is a very calming process and I fall asleep most of the times in the middle of the process.
- Not Having Caffeine after 5 pm – Even though I sometimes feel tired by 5 or 6 pm and want to drink tea, I stop myself. It helps me listen to my body and it’s need for sleep.
- Gratitude – Writing down or even recalling all the things that happened in the day that I am grateful for, puts me in a mode of being in the moment and happiness. It helps me get closer to myself and understanding my needs. It calms my worries down and keeps me less awake at night.
- Daily 30 mins of movement – This is my favorite way of making my body tired and sleepy. I do not think in this age of exercise and fitness, I need to go into details of this one.
- Lavender oils and chamomile tea – If I am seriously unable to sleep, I use these as a last resort. Make sure you are not allergic to these and ask your doctor about their safety for your use.
Hope you get a better sleep tonight. If you have more ideas on how to have better night’s sleep as a parent, please feel free to post in the comments.