Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sleep, my love

Warning: slightly shocking, may induce laughing-out-loud and definitely NOT suitable for children.

How do your kids go to sleep? Is it lights on? Off? 
Are you the calm earth mother, with a healthy sleep routine? All the glossy parenting articles and expert parenting websites recommend a healthy sleep routine. But what is this? 

I sometimes walk into my Miss Treechange’s room for the first time at bedtime - it's a health hazard! So I make her clean it up? I'm not sure if this is what the parenting experts are looking for...

Is it calmly and quietly reading a book to the child snuggled up next to me with the lights on low? Silently adding at the end of every page: “Now go the *#@$ to sleep, my love”.  Because you know I have done that.

That’s when they stay asleep...

Sometimes kids wake up in the middle of the night, they sleep walk, they cry, they have nightmares, come into our beds at night, get sick. It’s no wonder a friend recently said:
I haven’t had a good night sleep in 10 years!!!
I remember as a child my sister woke up seriously unwell, and we were all indignant that my dad’s first response was to wash the vomit off his glasses. Now after a few zombie-like responses myself, I can understand the thought process (or lack of any thought process at 2 am when there are sick kids involved).

Here are a few tips for our healthy sleeptime. I would love to hear others...

  1. Turn the lights down low. Our body releases melatonin only when it is dark, and this hormone helps us sleep as well as assists the body to grow. Explain this to the children - that they will never feel tired sitting in front of the tv or computer: they actually have to lie down and give sleep a try!  Brilliant story from Behind the News from the ABC. Even Master Treechange can’t argue with science!
  2. Try a relaxation story. (I will include one in a later post) or listen to a relaxation podcast. 
  3. Breathe. Practise those Milk Shake Bubbles from this post.

All of this takes time and practice, and patience (sigh) on our poor-sleep-deprived-parent’s part. But in the end - it will be worth it!

Holly Treechange

photo credits: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/#catesunshine'>123RF Stock Photo</a>

Copyright (c) <a href='http://www.123rf.com'>123RF Stock Photos</a>

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