Benefits of sleep
I have had the pleasure of working closely with families for nearly 17 years, and through my roles as both a night nanny and a sleep consultant, I have been able to support many parents. This has given me a broad insight into why families choose to prioritise sleep in the early months and years, through education, advice, support and hands on sleep services.
Getting your child to ‘sleep through the night’ is often deemed as the holy grail of parenting, and is always a hot topic in social media groups and at coffee mornings. As a sleep professional, but also as a parent, I understand that babies and children won’t necessarily achieve this goal each and every night. But likewise, struggling with multiple wakings night after night just isn’t something you need to accept as a parent. In every difficult sleep situation I’ve come across, improvements to both child and parent sleep can be made. Here’s just some of the benefits to be had from improving sleep duration and quality…
Enhanced attachment to your child
Getting the right amount of sleep is always beneficial for our relationships with those around us, but did you know that it also increases your bond with your child? Many of the bonding rituals that help you to improve attachment require a certain amount of energy, calm and mental availability. These include eye contact, playing games and singing/reading/talking, bathing together, being available and attentive to their needs, and responding with warmth, positivity, care and empathy. Even getting a chunk of a few hours of sleep at a time can dramatically improve your ability to carry out (and enjoy) these bonding techniques.
Improved attention span and concentration
It’s no wonder that Mums so often seek my help when either they are nearing the end of maternity leave or in the first few weeks of returning back to work. Managing to juggle the day with your child is difficult enough, but when you’re trying to concentrate on work, home life and every thing else thrown your way, it’s another level. A good night sleep can improve the ability to concentrate on one task at a time, prioritise what’s important, and reduce the overwhelm that is felt.
Reduction in stress levels
Stress on the body often ends up in a viscous cycle. The less sleep you get, the higher the levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, that are released by the body. These in turn keep you awake even when your child is sleeping. Conversely, a good nights sleep can produce an anti-stress effect, enabling you to manage challenging situations with a calmer and more positive response. Anxiety of an impending difficult night often causes parents to fear the run up to bedtime, which further adds to the stress levels and the ability to fall asleep easily. Many parents have reported that they lay there awake for hours on end simply waiting for their child to wake, knowing they aren’t going to get anywhere near a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Healthier body and mind
The physical and mental health benefits to getting adequate night time sleep are almost endless. Better heart health, boosted immune system to ward off viruses and bugs, and reduced risk of serious illnesses including diabetes and cancer. A body clock that’s functioning as it should stabilises our metabolism, leading to healthier food choices and less excess weight gain. The benefits to your psychological wellbeing are just as great, and a reduction of sleep can increase the chances of poor mental health. The more sleep you get, the better your mood, anxiety is reduced, and mental health disorders such as depression are kept at bay.
Keeps you and your child safer
Did you know adults that suffer with poor sleep are at a much higher risk of injuries at work, at home and on the move. Driving in particular can be particularly challenging, with many accidents per year as a direct result of drowsy drivers. You are also far more likely to carry out safe sleep practices with your child if you have had more sleep.
The chance to actually enjoy parenthood
Who says you just have to survive the early years with children? Yes being a parent is all consuming and exhausting at times. Yet tackling everything that parenting throws your way on a good knights sleep definitely makes it all the more bearable, and day I say, enjoyable! I remember when my son started sleeping through the night, I actually missed him! Both he and I would wake up refreshed and ready fro the day, and it is a thought echoes by many parents that I’ve worked with. “Within three days of speaking with Emma our little boy’s bedtimes went from something I would worry about all day to become a really pleasant part of my day which allowed me to have more quality time with my little one.” Jane Pryor, Brentwood. So if you’re struggling with sleep, please get in touch for a free assessment call to find out how we can support you in getting all the benefits of a good nights sleep. We also have a wealth of free sleep information on our website through blogs, and resource downloads.
HushaBoo was founded in 2013, by Emma Osborne, a qualified and experienced sleep consultant and night nanny. In recent years, we have expanded into a team of sleep professionals to help even more parents. We work with families from before birth to 8 years old, finding the perfect solution to suit your individual needs.
Based in Bishops Stortford covering London, Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire for in person support and UK wide for remote support. You can quote ‘Salad Days Summer Sleep’ for 10% discount off our 1:1 consultation packages – offer ends 1st August 2023.
Paediatric Sleep Specialist & HushaBoo Founder