Ahhh Sleep! How's yours?
Most of us wish for a better, longer or more restful nights sleep. In fact it is reported in Australia that 1 in 5 of us get less than six hours sleep a night! WOW! A common term for disrupted sleep is Insomnia. An insomniac is commonly thought of as being unable to sleep at all but insomnia refers to the quality and length of sleep you get in a night including- difficulty falling asleep; waking up frequently during the night with difficulty returning to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; or unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours of sleep a person gets or how long it takes to fall asleep. You all may vary normally in your need for, and your satisfaction with, sleep. Insomnia may cause problems during the day, such as tiredness, a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. I don’t know about you but I used to most days tick off at least one of these symptoms. Most of the time you think it just comes with the territory of being a parent of small children and just keep soldiering on.
But there are ways to improve your quality of sleep and switch the mind off!
And as for the kids...
Kids these days are so stimulated by society that it’s no wonder that they have trouble falling asleep, let alone having enough sleep. With personal devices like handheld video games, Portable DVD players, iPods, laptops and the TV constantly on, kids are getting a sensory overload with noise, flashing colours and sometimes violent images in games and movies. Add to this a hectic life and busy social calendar it’s no wonder that our kids get cranky, hyperactive, clumsy and/or lacking energy.
Children that don’t get enough sleep often have trouble controlling their emotions, which can then lead to behavioural problems at home and school. This is exhausting and frustrating for parents. A recent study has also concluded that a lack of sleep contributes to childhood obesity. "New Zealand researchers found young children who slept less than the average of 11 hours a night were far more likely to have a higher body mass index by the age of seven. Each extra hour of sleep at night for children aged 3 to 5 was linked to a 61 per cent fall in the risk of being overweight or obese. The researchers monitored nearly 250 children, regularly tracking weight, diet, body composition, physical activity and sleep patterns from the ages of three to seven. Lifestyle and other risk factors, which affected a child's weight, such as birth weight, parent's education, income and ethnicity, were all taken into account."
Read more: http://www.news.com.auhttp://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/fat-chance-for-sleepless-children/story-fn7x8me2-1226064357377#ixzz1Nk3jkZK2
Factors that can influence a childs sleep pattern can include worry and stress, major life changes, grief, separation anxiety and nightmares.
This is where yoga can be a huge benefit.
For some bedtime yoga try this with your kids…
Shake, shake, shake- all your limbs for a few seconds then slow it down to be just a like a wiggly worm.
Down like a dog- on all fours (hands and feet or hands and knees) and shake your tail, walk around the room and nod your doggy head.
Happy, happy baby- come down on your side & roll over gently onto your back with your feet in the air. Bend your knees and grab onto your feet or ankles. Gently rock & roll.
Squeezey, squeeze then relax- each body part one at a time from bottom of your toes to the tip of your nose. Then squeeze then all together so your whole body is a wrinkly prune. Take a big breath in and let it all hang out as you breathe out.
Swallow the sandman’s sparkly sleep dust(imaginary) –and say goodnight to your body as the magic sparkling dust slowly works its’ way down from your nose to your toes.
Namaste- the perfect way to end the day. With your hands at your heart, say Na-mas-tay.