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World Sleep Day

18 March 2022
world sleep day
World Sleep Day

Sleep – we spend up to one third of our lives doing it!  It’s a basic human need which is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing.  LOLA + BLAKE was founded out of a love of sleep and a desire to instil good sleep habits in little ones with some dream inspiration thrown in along the way – Because, as I always say “if they sleep then we get more sleep too!”  Below are some tips which I lived by when teaching Lola and Blake sleep routines but there is so much of this which is relevant for adults too and I hope its helpful as I write this blog on World Sleep Day!

Environment: Its so important to set the tone for where you sleep.  Make it a relaxing, calm haven which you can instantly relax in when entering!

  • Not too hot or cold – this helps your body to enter into a deep and optimum sleep more easily.  When Lola and Blake were babies we had a Gro Egg Room thermometer for peace of mind but there is nothing to stop you having this at any age! The perfect temperature to sleep is between 16-20 degrees which suits our 2.5 tog Baby Sleep Bag perfectly!
  • Comfortable & clean bedding & nightwear – our pure cotton is breathable & kind to even the most sensitive skin; because of this it stops you getting too hot, clammy or restricted. Shop our cotton nightwear here.
  • Low lighting as you wind down for bedtime: I always did this for my two, Lola and Blake, especially when they were younger and learning a nightime routine. After their supper I’d close the curtains in the house, turn off main lights and have a few side lights on and start to prepare them for their bedtime routine.

Routine: Giving yourself, your body and your kids a routine and queues/prompts which prepare the body to sleep and help unwind is vital!

  • Adults need to aim for 8 hours sleep and kids up to 12 hours (with babies needing daytime naps too) – I highly recommend The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan book by Alison Scott-Wright which helped me have a bit of structure when I was a new mother and introducing routine and knowing the best time for naps etc
  • Aim to get to bed at the same time each night, this helps your body clock to build a strong desire for sleep throughout the day and naturally be ready.
  • Try and have a similar routine/ritual each night as you prepare for bed – this is great for kids but also for adults. Wind down with a bath, cleanse tone and moisturise – whatever works to relax you! With Lola and Blake this always included something physical like running around the garden to burn off that last energy, followed by supper, lights low, a bath, putting on their pyjamas, snuggling up in bed and reading a story.  Then finally we would recap on their days, talk about all the lovely things that happened and say a prayer before lights out.  From an adult perspective, I can not sleep if I am worried about something so in a similar way to the kid’s routine, if you can’t talk through your day then write down about your day and everything you’re grateful for to end on a high, create a to-do list for the next day so you’re not worrying and help your brain to switch off.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day to aid good sleep and don’t eat too close to bedtime.  I can’t sleep on a full stomach so always try to finish eating about 3 hours before I go to sleep.

Screen Time: I’m doing a whole section on this because it needs it!  I know everyone says it but screen time is just so detrimental to our sleep and ability to switch off.

  • Try to reduce screen time for 1-2 hours before bedtime. I remember my husband watching the world cup football the year Lola was born.  Its was hosted in Brazil so was on late at night. He had Lola with him watching to allow me to get a little more sleep – she was absolutely wired from all the colour, noise and stimulation and we all subsequently had an awful night.  It makes it clear the effects that screen time have when you put a little one who’s never been subjected to it in front of the tele!  Don’t get me wrong, my two probably watch too much tele now but choosing the moments when they watch does make a difference. And you can probably guess TV in the bedroom is an absolute no no! This ties in with the section above on environment!
  • Switch off all devices or put them into flight or night mode – my brother played professional rugby and during his stint at Harlequins they had a professional sleep coach come in and talk to all the players – this was something he passed on to me and has stuck with me since.  I try to charge my laptop downstairs now, switch my phone off and dim my clock radio right down.  Technology affects the brain, stimulating your mind and making it harder to fall asleep and the less we can have when we sleep the less likely we are to be woken up and the more likely we are to get into a deep sleep for longer.
  • Reading kids a story before bedtime is a lovely part of routine, keeps them away from a screen and helps inspire their dreams – LOLA + BLAKE was founded on this concept of dream inspiration!
  • Keep light to a minimum – when I was teaching Lola and Blake sleep routines we had a black out blind AND black out curtains (sounds extreme but I swear by it!).  The darkness helped them know it was time to sleep but is also linked to our body’s Melatonin, a hormone produced and released in the brain. Melatonin influences sleep by sending a signal to the brain that it is time for rest. This signal helps the body to prepare for sleep – muscles begin to relax, feelings of drowsiness increase, body temperature drops etc Light inhibits the release of melatonin, which delays the onset of the body’s transition to sleep (hence my point on environment and low lighting before bedtime) but this also links to screen time and brightness shining in our faces when our body is trying to switch off.

I hope this all helps. I find it fascinating and love how relevant so much of the advice for children is for us adults too! Sleep well. Kx