CLEAN SLEEPING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.
We have all heard about clean eating and how making dietary tweaks can result in amazing improvements for our health and wellness.
The same can be said for Clean sleeping!
When meeting with a new family,during a consult, it is the 3 E's of clean sleeping that we discuss first and fore most, because sometimes, just by making subtle changes to these 3 E's, we can see dramatic changes to the quality and quantity of the child's and then ultimately the entire families sleep.
Now by now your probably wondering, what are the 3 E's?
I break them down simply into, Environment, Eating and Emotions.
The environment does not just revolve around the sleeping space, but rather the entire home and the outside environment.
During a consult we will discuss, how blue light, t.v / I pad exposure room temperature, exposure to daylight and nightlights can all have an effect on sleep time hormones.
Melatonin is one of the most important sleep hormones to encourage, it allows your body to fall into a healthy circadian rhythm.
It is hugely effected by light and body temperature and can easily be inhibited by cortisol and other adrenal hormones.
When Melatonin is released in healthy amounts it brings on the feeling of being tired and continues to release throughout the night, ensuring that you stay asleep and achieve deep restful periods of sleep until the morning.
When we move onto the topic of eating, it is quite common to find that the children are not eating adequate amounts of nutritious and wholesome foods.
They are almost always, not having the right amounts of protein in their diets to assist them in feeling full enough to sleep well and for longer periods during the night.
Their diets are lacking in important sleep nutrients and neuro- transmitters such as Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and tryptophan and generally their milk feed and solids routine needs advising, to ensure that all digestive hormones are not interfering with the sleepy ones.
I find that by making food the upmost importance in relation to sleep, it encourages the whole family to eat well and make meals that cover the 5 basic food groups with adequate fruit, vegetable, protein, healthy fats and Carbohydrates and limiting the processed and packaged foods that are high in sugar, preservatives and additives.
The last E is emotions!
There is now a much greater understanding of how the child's emotions and brain development effects their ability to feel safe and secure in their attachment with their parents/primary carer's and the sleeping environment in which they are laid to sleep.
Separation anxiety, night time worries and fears and developmental leaps can all cause sleep regressions as the brains activity level is heightened and the child is processing through new skills learnt and trying to understand and emotionally regulate through the very real and scary thoughts they are having.
Predictable routines and schedules, with pre -warning and step by step processes can allow your child to feel less overwhelmed and somewhat in control over whats happening next, leading up to bed time.
This will often result in less anxiety and a decrease in bedtime resistance.
And remember, a cup full of love, attention and presence before bedtime, allows a child to feel less anxious about leaving you, to go to sleep for the night and will encourage them to stay asleep till the morning!