World Sleep Day: The healing power of a good night’s sleep
With World Sleep Day on 19th March and the highly topical issue of ‘coronasomnia’, sleep (or rather a lack of it) is something we all have in common. At Bluebell, we understand the importance of sleep and we’ve previously written how sleep is incredibly beneficial for baby and for parents. But it still seems like a lot of us struggle to get enough.
New parents lose an average of 109 minutes of sleep each night* in their child’s first year, which is the equivalent to 663 hours, 82x8 hour working days or more than 13 entire weekends. The statistics are pretty crazy when you look at them like that. But we’re here to let you know, all is not lost!
Having a good night’s sleep as a parent with a new-born is a two-way street. You need to ensure your baby has a comfortable sleep environment and a good routine to help them drift off, so you can drift off. Around 20% of baby’s in the U.K have trouble sleeping in the first year, so if you are struggling, you are not alone. Whilst this disrupted sleep can be temporary, if you are facing any regular or ongoing sleep problems that are concerning you, you should think about speaking to a healthcare professional.
Tackling any prolonged issues is vital so you don’t face sleep deprivation; because when your baby isn’t sleeping well, you aren’t sleeping well. It’s good to understand that sleep isn’t always going to be perfect, but by following tips that help you understand your baby’s sleep and your own, you can begin to put in place self-care stepping stones that build routine and develop healthy habits. Below, we’ve compiled a short list of tips that help parents and babies achieve a good night’s sleep:
- Create a comfortable sleep environment – it’s important babies aren’t too hot or too cold, with a room temperature between 16-20°C
- Use lightweight bedding and put them into their cot when they’re drowsy but still awake
- Make sure the room is very quiet, or use white noise or lullabies to soothe your baby to sleep, using these sounds only before bed to help your baby learn the difference between night and day / sleep and awake time
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine, for example: bath, feed, cuddle, story and then bed. Aim for the same routine at the same time, every night, as consistency will really help
- Parents should adjust their own bedtime, in keeping with their child, to try and allow for more sleep
- Keep activity to a minimum during night waking’s. If they’re hungry, make sure they are having full feeds where possible, to reduce the risk of them waking up due to hunger soon after
- Try not respond straight away if they stir, as it’s likely they will fall back to sleep and self-soothing will help their sleep cycles to link, improving their sleep quality and, in turn, improving health & development. If using a monitor like Bluebell, you will be alerted if your baby is too warm, crying or moving, so you know to attend to them
- According to the Sleep Foundation, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance – so new parents should take a quick power nap at any opportunity
- It’s also important for new parents to keep an eye on their own wellbeing – how they are sleeping, step count, mood, etc.
We understand that other factors, sometimes beyond our control, can make achieving a peaceful night sleep difficult. But by changing what we can control to help benefit us, in any little way possible, we create great foundations to support our slumber. So, how can a Bluebell smart baby monitor help with any of this? Well, we’ve written on this previously here too, but to summarise:
- It creates the right environment for sleep
- It helps you understand baby sleep patterns
- It provides reassurance and peace of mind
Bluebell shouldn’t take the place of parental presence, but it is there to help make things a bit simpler – and make sleeping a bit easier as well. For parents, our Bluebell wristband tracks your sleep, and activity too. You can also use the Mobile app to track your mood, to understand your own wellbeing. It’s understandable that baby comes first, but your wellbeing is also a priority, and a happier parent can mean a happier baby. Just have a look at one of our reviews from a new mum, Lynn:
“Bluebell has made me a less anxious parent and allowed me to get more sleep. I don’t spend my nights waking up several times worrying if my baby is okay, I can just check the parent wristband for updates. As a new mum, knowing my parent wristband will vibrate if baby needs me is so reassuring”.
In celebration of World Sleep day, we are partnering with Child Sleep Expert Lauren Peacock @little_sleep_stars, along with Midwife and Antenatal Teacher @TheHonestMidwife to discuss and share a range of their expert tips and advice about sleep, and how to get more of it. Follow @Bluebellfamily for details on the forthcoming World Sleep Day Workshop on 19th March.
- * Each new parent loses 109 minutes of sleep every night for the first year after having a baby, acc (Healthline, 2019)