SOME IMPORTANT TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS
It’s a new parents’ rite of passage: The sleepless night. After your new arrival finishes crying for the night (assuming she finishes), after you’ve fed her, had your spouse sing a lullaby, and changed the baby’s diaper, you can go back to sleep. The problem: It’s now four a.m. and you can’t get back to sleep. It’s a good bet that one of you adults has to get up in two hours and start getting ready for work as if the past two hours soothing the baby don’t count as work. Parents may want to consider these hints for grabbing a good night’s sleep while their newborn makes demands on their time and energy:
Opt for the night shift. Work out a schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and take care of your baby’s needs. This guarantees that at least one of you will get some sleep and that both of you will share child-caring chores.
Take a cue from the baby. You may want to finish folding the laundry while the baby is safely asleep, but chances are you’ll feel better and get more done if you’re rested. Your baby can nap freely, so why can’t you?
Check your bedding and baby’s bedding. You may think that your mattress is comfortable enough, but you may need a new one with all the changes in your life.
Also, make sure your baby has the proper bedding. That new crib your parents gave you may not have a mattress that supports your baby comfortably.
Treat comfort as a necessity, not a luxury. This is going to be one of the most challenging stages in being a parent. You need to look after your own health. Besides making sure you have good bedding, be certain that nothing in your bedroom interferes with your sleep. Keep the TV off, mute the hall light if you’re keeping it on for the baby, check the temperature in your bedroom. You and your partner deserve the same care that you give to your baby.
Soon, you’ll have no difficulty sleeping through the night. That is until your adorable little baby becomes a teenager.
SLEEPING WELL AT A CERTAIN AGE…
Do you toss and turn at night, and no matter what you do, you can’t seem to sleep as well as when you were in your thirties?
Do you frequently find yourself falling asleep while sitting, especially while reading or watching television?
Do you accept what your friends and your doctor have told you, that “sleeplessness is part of aging” and that “you don’t need as much sleep when you’re older”?
The Better Sleep Council estimates that one out of every two seniors suffers from sleep deprivation – and the debilitating and dangerous side effects of daytime drowsiness. But older adults require the same seven to nine hours of restful sleep as the current group of 18 to 29-year-olds.
Research shows that both older and younger people consume massive amounts of caffeine, and both may associate their beds with activities that are not conducive to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation warns, “Poor sleep habits may have become entrenched; we may associate our beds with television or reading, not sleeping. “In addition, just as young adults frequently devalue the need for sleep, often putting off rest in favor of work or late-night leisure activities such as the Internet, older people–even those who still work and stay active-decided that since they use less energy, they need less sleep.”In the meantime, families and loved ones may notice that Grandpa nods off at one o’clock in the afternoon while watching football, or Grandma falls asleep while riding in the car. Then, the next morning, the family hears the usual complaint: “I couldn’t sleep last night. I got up at five a.m. and I couldn’t get back to sleep. That’s what happens when you get old.”
The challenge of getting a good night’s sleep the body ages, its circadian rhythm, or internal sleep regulator, changes. This makes older people wake up at five a.m. and grow sleepy in the afternoons. The need for eight to nine hours of sleep does not change. Unfortunately, those hours become spread out throughout the day, so that by the time nine o’clock rolls around, you’ve already spent your “sleep allowance” sitting in a chair during daylight hours, rather than lying comfortably in bed at night. Even resting quietly in bed can prove to be a challenge. If you have arthritis or other medical conditions, your sleep will definitely suffer. If your room is completely silent, you may have difficulty falling asleep because of outside noises-cars passing, dogs barking, the house settling. You may be troubled by depression, a common problem in older Americans. If you are married, your partner may be keeping you awake through snoring or other chronic conditions. Your sensitivity to heat and cold may affect your comfort level. If you have any sort of worry, such as financial, or are coping with the loss of a spouse, sleeplessness is common.
Improving the quality of sleep While it is important to get the same 7 to 9 hours of sleep that you enjoyed when you were in your teens, the quality of those hours is equally important. Experts have presented a variety of common-sense prescriptions to helping you sleep.
Create a good sleep environment Good sleep habits and a restful sleep environment play an important role in how well you sleep. You can sleep better by creating a comfortable place to sleep.
The four factors of the sleep environment You can make your sleep environment more conducive for restful sleep by checking these factors:
Mattress & Foundation: Keep your biological clock in sync by going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning – even on weekends.
Light: Light is one of our body’s most powerful time cues. The rising sun can stimulate the brain into wakefulness long before the alarm goes off. A dark room is the most conducive for sleep, day or night.
Noise: Sudden, loud noises from inside or outside the home can disrupt sleep. Steady, low sounds like the whir of a fan or air conditioner are soothing because they help block out other noises.
Temperature: The ideal bedroom temperature is 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. A room that’s too hot or too cold can disturb your sleep.