How you sleep can determine the success of your day. While most people need a solid eight hours to feel rested and refreshed, others reportedly get by on only three to four hours of sleep a night.
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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.
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.
If you belong to any online parents' groups and you make a word cloud, there will be one word in 72-point font in the dead centre: SLEEP. No one gets through the first months or years of parenthood without wondering how the hell to get the kid to go to sleep, stay asleep, or sleep just a bit later in the morning.
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.
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.
Waking up is hard to do. Getting a good sleep can be tough, and this can lead to feeling less than refreshed when you wake up in the morning. Falling asleep and waking up are brain processes we don’t fully understand, but research suggests these transitions are a lot more gradual than the flip of a switch.
As a parent, you often don't remember how much easier life was pre-kids until you try to do something basic, such as stay in a hotel. Before being with child, you could walk into the room, plop your stuff down, climb into bed, and watch the Reese Witherspoon movie marathon on TV for hours while eating Flaming Hot Cheetos (or, you know, do the things you love). When you have a baby who sleeps on a very particular schedule, under very particular conditions (sunlight is evil!), hotel living can be an ordeal. (Note: If you have a baby who can snooze like a log at a monster truck show and believe it is parents who create delicate infant sleep habits, look, I'm... too tired to fight.)
You know the sleep hacks. You're laying off caffeine in the afternoon, avoiding blue light, maybe taking a warm bath and having a little stretch before you get between the covers. And yet, even when you get to bed with the right number of hours before your alarm, it can still somehow not be enough.
The early birds will inherit the earth. At least that’s what a 2009 University of Leipzig study found. The researchers concluded that “morning people were more proactive than evening types.”
But being an effective early riser isn’t just about waking up before everyone else. It’s about putting yourself in a positive mindset and getting important things done before everyone else.
Getting a good night of sleep can seem like the most effortless and natural thing in the world, but when we can’t fall asleep it can quickly feel elusive and frustrating. There are a few techniques we can use to help us fall asleep, and some things we should always practise before we go to bed to give ourselves the best chance of being able to drop off easily.
Parents who know the struggle of getting their kids to go to sleep may have turned in bleary-eyed desperation to The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, the bestselling book that uses psychological tricks to get little listeners to quickly doze off. About a year ago, I played a reading of the book to my daughter at bedtime, and it worked like a charm three out of five times. (And it made me yawn a whole lot.)
Everybody wants better sleep. Many of us invest considerable money, time and effort in search of that perfect night’s rest. We spend on pharmaceutical sleep aids, gadgets and devices, anything that promises to help us sleep easier.
Too often our issues stem from what we do immediately before bedtime. In the interests of promoting better sleep for all, let’s take a look at some nightly habits, and whether they lead to forty winks or tears at work the next morning.