Tagged With sleep

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When it comes to teens getting enough sleep, numerous forces are working against them. Early school start times are wreaking havoc on their circadian rhythms. An overload of after-school activities is turning bedtime into gotta-start-on-homework time. The buzz of texts from friends, the screens shining in their faces and the constant lure of just one more game or episode of Riverdale are keeping their brains wired well into the night. And all the lectures coming from concerned mums and dads seem to be dissolving into thin air because, well, adolescence. And so they slog through their days, cranky and short-fused and barely able to respond to basic questions. As parents, you wonder if there's anything you can do to help.

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When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important factors. However, many of us struggle to not only bank enough hours in bed but also sleep deeply enough to recover from the last day's wear and tear.

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You need a nap - but you're a parent! We've got you. While catching some mid-day Zs may be more challenging once you have kids (okay, that's an understatement), it's not impossible. You just have to be stealthy about it. Here are some sneaky ways to sneak in that nap you're so desperate for.

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I used to do the ninja escape. Sitting on the glider in my baby's room, I'd nurse her until her eyelids slowly shut, and then I'd carefully, carefully place the time-bomb of a child into her crib and creep out the door. I'd exhale in relief and give my husband a silent high five, holding onto the universal parenting mantra: "Whatever works."

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I am the absolute worst at this. I know I have to go to bed at a reasonable time, but when lights-out time hits, there I am: on the computer, on my tablet, or on my smartphone, usually doing another lap of YouTube/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter just to make sure I didn't miss anything. And a half-hour later, I'm still doing it.

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With young kids, bedtime routines usually involve a precise checklist of putting on PJs, brushing teeth, reading stories, asking for water, getting tucked in, realising Bunny is missing, going on a mad search through the house for Bunny, getting tucked in again, saying oh wait! I have to use the potty, getting tucked in again, and giving goodnight kisses. And then, at long last, the lights finally go out.

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We're in a golden age of arguably unnecessary health gadgets, including several new entries to the market that aim to optimise our sleep, or at least give us lots of data describing it. We asked a few sleep experts what's useful and what isn't. Here are the features they liked.

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Like the proper way to hang a roll of toilet paper, the location of a sleeping child is a reliable internet fight starter. The experts are tired of squabbling. NPR reported last year that the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics boil down to: We don't think kids should sleep with adults, but we know you're going to ignore us, so whatever.

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Should your dog sleep in bed with you? It's a contentious question. Even a small dog can take up a lot of bed space, and some trainers will say that having your dog sleep in a crate or in their own bed sets an important boundary that helps their behaviour. But on the other hand: the snuggles.

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Getting through the work week is tough enough already without throwing sleep deprivation into the mix. Sadly, it is estimated that up to 35 per cent of Aussies suffer from sleeping difficulties and related daytime symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness and irritability. If you're in this bleary-eyed camp, it's time to take action. This infographic explains how to fix common issues affecting your ability to sleep - from leg cramps to snoring partners.

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When you're a parent, naptime is the second most-looked-forward-to moment of the day. It's the hour (or two, or three, if you're lucky) that you get to eat lunch, check email, do a chore or two, and maybe even rest yourself. That's what makes the phrase "dropped nap" so horrifying: It means that a day that began at 7 (or 6, or 5, if you're unlucky) now yawns open, like a gaping maw of death, to bedtime. There's no opportunity for respite: Just you and a toddler, covered in homemade slime, squabbling about whether it's Tuesday.

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If you're feeling a little dusty this morning, then you've gone and got yourself a hangover, haven't you? There's no real way around it, you have to go through it - but here are a few tips that may help stave off the real punishing effects of getting a little overzealous on the party's punchbowl.

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In my recurring nightmare, I have done something awful, truly heinous. What that dreadful thing is is unclear, but what is certain is that I'm about to be caught for it -- so I'm running. And running, and running, and running and always just about to be caught. Now this has the standard nightmare emotional content of terror, but the dream throws in some shame, too, just for an extra f-you from my subconscious. I always wake up shaky and distraught.

Good times.