Children require good sleep quality in order to function optimally and keep illness at bay, but there is an important link between their own sleep quality and that of their mother. A recent study by scientists at the University of Warwick has found that children sleep poorly if their mothers have symptoms of insomnia (an issue affecting at least one in four people in America on an acute basis). There is a silver lining at the end of the cloud; research also shows that 75% of these people recover from insomnia without developing persistent or chronic sleep problems. Sometimes, all it takes is a few small changes to one’s routine and surroundings to enjoy the quality sleep we need.
Why Does Mom’s Sleep Matter?
The above-mentioned study, based on the data obtained from children aged 7 to 12 and their parents, found that children whose mothers have insomnia fall asleep later, sleep less, and spend less time in the deep sleep cycle. Researchers postulate that the amount of time mothers spend with their children is one reason why they have such a strong influence on their sleep quality. There are two ways in which maternal insomnia can affect kids: firstly, children tend to learn by example. Secondly, problems or conflicts close to bedtime can stop the whole family from enjoying a restful sleep. This can affect children’s mental health, learning, and memory, so it is vital to work together as a family to improve sleep for all.
Tapping Into the Reasons for Insomnia
There are several reasons why women might have insomnia. Sometimes the cause is hormonal; over 70% of women complain of sleeping problems during menstruation, for instance, when hormone levels are at their lowest. During perimenopause, menopause, and the post-menopausal phase, hormonal changes can also lead to restless sleep. New moms can also find that they are more wakeful than usual, often as a result of their vigilance of their new babies. If you have insomnia for any reason, it is important to see your doctor to discover the reason and receive the appropriate treatment. Often, purely natural methods such as exercise, a sound diet, and stress busting activities can help stop insomnia from becoming chronic.
Is Your Bedroom Design Up to Scratch?
To enjoy quality sleep, your bedroom needs to be a haven of relaxation. Colors should be calming (think green, blue, or lavender rather than red orange). At night time, the room should be completely quiet and dark; therefore, soundproofing and the use of blackout curtains may be necessary. Your bed should be comfortable and your mattress should possess the right firmness for your sleeping position. If you sleep on your back or stomach, for instance, you will need a firmer mattress than if you sleep on your side, so as to avoid back pain. If you sleep on your side, your mattress will have to have memory foam or similar technologies that ensure all parts of the body are well supported so as to avoid hip or shoulder pain. A cool, dark bedroom will boost your body’s ability to sleep according to its natural clock.
Keeping Stress at Bay
It is important to tackle stress actively throughout the day in order to feel the required sense of calm by night. Exercise in itself is linked to better sleep at night but for extra stress boosting power, consider a mindful activity such as meditation or yoga – these activities have been found to significantly lower stress hormone levels. Before bedtime, establish a relaxation routine that may involve having a warm bath, practicing breathing exercises, or giving progressive muscle relaxation a go. Consider diffusing therapeutic grade essential oils like lavender or orange throughout your bedroom. These oils have been found in studies to promote greater calm.
If you and your children are finding it hard to sleep, try to adopt routines that will enable you to feel sleepier at night. Bedrooms should be dark and comfortable, and silence should reign supreme. If either you or your children have persistent insomnia, see your doctor to ensure you are prescribed the right approach that will enable you to feel refreshed and renewed in the morning.