Category Archives: Sleep

“Can you come sleep coach my child for me?”

I hear this occasionally, parents asking me if I can come sleep train their child for them.  Some are joking when they ask, some are serious.  I wanted to talk a little about why I do not offer this service.

Children act differently for strangers and other people who aren’t Mom and Dad

If you’ve ever seen your child in school or daycare you may be amazed at how they are acting.  They are behaving and listening so well!  Some of that could just be consistency, they know exactly what to expect and when to expect it at school, whereas home can be a little more chaotic at times.  Also parents may be a little inconsistent at times – I know when I’m trying to do things around the house and my child is bugging me for something, I may be a little more willing to give in then their teachers may be!  So if I, or someone else, would come into their home and try to put them to sleep, they may very quickly and quietly start falling asleep, but then when Mom or Dad try to do the same thing, they may behave very differently.  Plus if Mom is nursing, baby will smell mom when she’s there, but not when the stranger is there.  (Speaking of this, I do sometimes recommend Dad do the coaching in the beginning until baby is used to not eating, but I always have Mom step in at some point as well).

Outsourcing?

I’m not crazy about the idea of parents “outsourcing” when they feel like the task is going to be hard for them.  (Of course if you have hired someone to come in, I’m not judging you – everyone needs to do what feels right to them).  I want parents to feel confident in their parenting ability.  No matter how competent or incompetent you feel, you can do this.  Your child will feel most comfortable with you, and yes that may mean they’ll fight longer or act out more, but I always want bedtime to be a calm, relaxing experience, and I cannot imagine it will be that calm or relaxed with a stranger in the room, no matter how comforting they are.

You can do it! 

You don’t need someone else to come in and coach your child.  You know your child best and you can read them better than anyone.  Plus you will gain more confidence in going through this process!

Yes, I can help!

This is not to say I cannot help you at all.  My services help you create a plan to follow to help your child get the sleep they need to be happy and healthy.  Sometimes I also add in text support where I can be available while you are doing bedtime, so you can ask questions and get immediate answers, or just general support.  I also have been available in a family’s house, I’ve stayed downstairs while the family is doing the sleep coaching upstairs.  I can watch on baby monitors and just be there for support.

 

Do you have questions or comments?  I would love to hear them!

4 Stresses That’ll Disrupt Your Sleep

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There’s not all that much that humans need in order to be happy, at least when it comes to the baseline level of happiness. We need shelter, we need food, we like comfort. And we need sleep. How many times have you seen an otherwise lovely person become a demonic version of themselves, all because they haven’t had as many hours of sleep as usual? In this day and age, we know more and more about the right ingredients for a good night’s sleep, yet more of us than ever are struggling to hit the hay. This, in part, is because of stress, which is increasingly prevalent in society. Below, we take a look at four causes of stress that, left unchecked, will cause many a sleepless night.

 

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Financial Woes

Oh, money — for all the trouble it’s caused, you’d think we’d have a pretty low opinion of it, yet we don’t. We all let it dominate our thoughts. Can we get more of it? Do we have enough? It’s this latter question that puts a strain on our ability to relax. If you’re being kept up at night because of debt or other financial issues, then make a vow to take control. It’s always possible to overcome financial difficulties — not easy, sure, but possible!

Relationship Issues

Of all the things that are difficult in life, there is none more challenging than maintaining our relationships. Were being asked for things from our friends, family, partners; we’re asking things from them. For the most part, these issues are just a little stressful, but sometimes they come to a head. If you hit a particularly rough spot in a marriage, for instance, you might begin to wonder whether it’ll ever get better; whether you need a divorce attorney; what’ll happen to the house, kids, and so on. While it can feel like an all-encompassing mess while you’re in the middle of it, it’s important to remember that things do always get better.

Getting Ahead

We should all take more time to express gratitude. It would make things much less stressful! When we’re caught in the cycle of working hard, trying to get promoted, trying to be the best we can be, and so on, it’s of little wonder that we become stressed. We’re forever thinking about the next thing, and can’t enjoy what we already have. If you don’t already, look at taking a few minutes each day to appreciate how far you’ve come and all that you have.

The State of the World

Alas, not all of your stresses will be under your control. Take the state of the world. It’s a pretty big mess out there, and we’re the ones who have to live with the consequences. If you’re losing sleep, however, it’s worth keeping in mind that, while there is a lot of bad out there, there’s more good. Indeed, this society is kind of one of a kind — it’s safer, better educated, and more tolerant than any society that’s come before it. It should be celebrated.

How the Quality of Your Sleep Can Impact the Health of Your Heart

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Sleep is essential for many things. If you regularly have poor quality sleep, you’re likely to experience low levels of overall health and wellbeing for various reasons. Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your concentration levels, your memory, your mood, and your energy levels. But for now, let’s focus on how a lack of sleep can negatively affect one of the most important organs in your body – your heart. While it isn’t immediately clear why sleep is so pivotal for the health of your heart, studies have shown that it is. So, it’s definitely a subject worth looking into!

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes sufferers to regularly awake through the night. The condition is characterised by a lack of breathing or extremely shallow breathing for extended periods of time throughout the night. These pauses in breathing can last anywhere between a few seconds and a few minutes, and can cause individuals to awake in a panic or with a jolt, as their bodies struggle to function without air and suddenly awake them to encourage a return to regular breathing patterns. Various factors and conditions can contribute towards sleep apnea, including obesity, allergies, sinus problems, and age. However, studies have found that individuals who suffer from sleep apnea and generally experience low quality sleep tend to have notably compromised heart health. Women suffering from sleep apnea are more likely to suffer women signs of heart attack. It is believed that a lack of long periods of rest causes our bodies to avoid lowering their heart rate and blood pressure. This means that these individuals’ hearts are essentially working overtime every single night.

Tackling Sleep Problems

While sleep apnea is just one example of how poor quality sleep affects heart health, logic would follow that any condition that causes a lack of proper, deep sleep could have a negative impact on your overall heart health. So, what can you do to tackle these problems and get your heart back on track? Well, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor with any concerns that you may have. They will be able to diagnose any sleep issues and tell you whether they are linked to cardiovascular problems. Once issues have been highlighted, you can then take active steps towards tackling them.

  • Sleep clinics – if your doctor cannot directly tell you what is causing issues with your sleeping patterns, sleep clinics can monitor your sleep patterns and diagnose you properly.
  • Medicationthe go to treatment for many sleep based issues tends to be medication. This can offer a quick, temporary fix and help you to start getting a good night’s sleep as soon as possible.
  • Therapy – remember that some sleep issues have psychological roots. If this is the case, therapy could help you to get a decent night’s sleep down the line.

While you might not have previously associated quality of sleep with heart health, it is extremely important to understand how the two factors are inextricably linked!

Relinquish Your Membership To Insomniacs Anonymous With These Smart Tactics

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Eyelids propped up by matchsticks? Walking through life like the living dead, because you just don’t get enough sleep? Well, you have come to the right place! In fact, even the most dedicated members of insomniacs anonymous can get more and a better quality of sleep by following the detailed advice below. Read on for more.

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Sadly, not everyone gets a peaceful, refreshing sleep every night!

Yoga Nidra & meditation

Now, you may not have tried meditation for sleep, and you may even think its a load of mumbo jumbo. However, it can really work. It’s not about stopping your thoughts though. Instead, the types of mediation that work best to encourage sleep are actually ones give your brain and body something to do and so distract your consciousness enough to relax and drift off.

This is where Yoga Nidra or the Sleep of the Gods comes in. It’s a form of meditation that is done lying down while you are in bed. It works by directing your consciousness to each part of your body separately, and you can even get a recorded version to guide you along the process.

Be aware though, that there are different types of Yoga Nidra, and some are designed as a meditation break rather than as a way of getting you off to sleep for the night. These will have a part at the end where they bring you back out of the meditation, so you are awake, and are for obvious reasons best avoided if you want a nice long sleep!

An alternative to Yoga Nidra that works in a very similar way that you may also wish to try is a technique called progressive muscle relaxation. This is an entirely agnostic practice that take you through flexing and then relaxing the main muscles in your body as you are lying down. Something that helps your body to recognize when it is relaxed, and so can make it much easier to de-stress and go to sleep.

White noise

Another helpful tactic that many people use to get off to sleep is white noise. This is noise that operates at a particular frequency, and it can actually be used to drown out other sounds. Sane people even find it calm their minds and help them to drown out anxious thoughts as well.

 

Luckily, white noise is easily accessible to all either through free videos online, a white noise machine, or even by placing a fan near to the bed.

Bedtime stories

You may think that bedtime stories are just for kids, but there is a reason why this habit has been established in our society for such a long time. It’s that listening to a story being read in a calm way is reassuring and relaxing and can even as adults help us drift off to sleep.

You have several choices to pick from here as well. One being downloading an audiobook app and then placing a story on a sleep timer. Something that means it will continue for so long, and then cut out once you are asleep. Many online radio apps have similar functions as well.

Alternatively, there are even sleep stories that are being designed primarily for adults now, and that can be accessed through apps and online. In fact, many of the people reading them are famous actors and celebrities, and the narratives are even written to be as relaxing as possible. Something that can help you drift claiming off to the land of Nod.

Change your bed

Changing your bed can help you get off to sleep and stay asleep easier in two ways. The first is the most straightforward, and it’s about changing the sheets and lines on your bed. After all, that delicious feeling when you slide into a freshly made bed is one that is hard to beat and can help you drift naturally off to sleep easily.

Of course, this will be harder to do if your current mattress has loose springs that stick in your back and groan, every time you turn over. That is where we come to the second way of changing your bed, as in changing it entirely and getting something new to sleep on!

Now, this can be problematic for many people as beds are particularly expensive. However, a bed is an investment in the quality of your life, and the value isn’t in the total cost, but the number of times it allows you to get a good night rest. That means, with most bed lasting around 8 years, even a bed that cots $1000 would equate to less than $0.40 a night. Not much for a good sleep, is it?

Use natural supplements to help you sleep

Another option that is available if sleep is elusive it to use natural supplements to help calm and relax your mind and body. There are plenty to choose from as well, from specifically made all natural sleep aids, to drinking milk or eating proteinous foods, and even things like a Valerian route.

 

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Some folks have even found that using products like White Tiger CBD oil can help to calm their body and mind enough to make sleep much more accessible. Something that can particularly come as a welcome relief if other avenues have not worked. After all, sleep isn’t optional, in fact, it the fuel that we need to power our daily lives, and over a more extended period, without it, we can suffer a great deal.

Set yourself a bedtime

Finally, just like stories you may think that having a bedtime is for kids and that you grew out of needing that a long time ago. However, having a regular set time when you start to wind down from the day and get ready for bed can be hugely beneficial for adults as well.

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The reason being that it allows your body to get into a rhythm of having a certain amount of sleep each night, and recognize better when it’s tired. The advantage of this being that as you feel more naturally sleepy, it should be easier to drift off into the land of Nod and relinquish your membership to insomniacs anonymous with some refreshing and much-needed sleep!

5 Tips for Sleeping When You’re Unwell

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Being unwell is hard enough as it is, but if you’re unable to get your rest too, you may become downright miserable. The Catch 22 is, the more rest you can get, the more likely your body is to heal. So, if you’re unable to sleep when you’re unwell it could take you longer to recover. If you need help sleeping, here are a few tips to try.

Invest in a Humidifier

If you’re suffering from a cold, you may not be able to sleep because you’re having difficulty breathing. Using a humidifier during the night could make all the difference. A humidifier will release moisture into the air while you sleep, helping you to breathe easier. Of course, it’s not only for during the night. A humidifier can help when you’re having trouble breathing at any time of day and if you’ve invested in one, you can bring it out whenever a member of the family is struggling with a cold.

 

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Hot Shower Before Bed

A hot shower can do you the world of good. Not only is it very relaxing when you’re feeling unwell, it will also help to loosen the nasal passages when you’re blocked up. It will act in the same way a humidifier does but loosening any mucus before you go to bed is a great way to make sure you get some decent rest. A warm bath will have the same effect. If you do choose to have a bath, add some lavender essential oil to the water. It’s a natural way of helping your mind and body to relax before going to sleep.

Your Sleeping Position

There are some illnesses that won’t allow you to rest properly because of the position you normally sleep in. For instance, if you have an ear infection, it may be painful to sleep on your side. The condition tinnitus may affect you in that way. You can learn more about it online. Try changing your sleeping position or using a travel pillow to prop yourself up so you aren’t lying on either side.

 

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Honey and Lemon

A sore throat can make you feel terrible. Of course, there are lots of over the counter drugs you can get when it comes to a sore throat but sometimes you need something to soothe the pain in between. When you take pain killers you often have to wait a few hours before you can take your next dose. In the interim, try adding some honey and a slice of lemon to hot water and sipping on it. The honey will help to soothe the pain and the lemon helps to kill the bacteria in your throat.

Always Check Medication

If you’re taking medication and you can’t sleep, you may want to check the ingredients. Some medications make you feel drowsy, but some have the opposite effect. There are many ingredients that can cause insomnia, so it’s always wise to check with the pharmacist or a medical professional before beginning to take it.