Lockdown got your family stressed and sleepless? A certified sleep consultant advises parents


I think we can all agree that the last couple of weeks has resulted in quite an unexpected mix of feelings for many of us. 

Ups-and-downs from anxiety, as well as stress, anger and then also periods of calm (or at least trying to convince yourself that things are fine). 

As this is quite a unique situation it is quite normal for us all to feel overwhelmed, to be concerned for your own safety and the people you care about.

The reality is that we all deal with these situations differently. Some of us like to prepare, others want to keep to themselves and others want as much information as possible.

Stress can cause us to change our behaviour, eat differently, increase our alcohol and tobacco intake and of course, stress has a severe impact on our sleep!

Here's a guide to ease stress and aid sleep for families: 

Self-care tips for moms and dads

Remember these things to support and practise self-care: 

  • Take breaks from watching, reading and listening to the news and social media. 
  • Constantly taking in news about the pandemic can be distressing.
  • Take care of yourself by eating healthy balanced meals, exercising and getting enough sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco use.
  • Try distracting activities like gardening, reading fiction or motivational/devotional books, or simply try relaxing with a good old series on your TV.
  • Talk to your loved ones about your concerns.

Putting the kids at ease 

    Gently consider these points in an effort to support your children: 

    Take time to talk to them about Covid-19, about the value of social distancing to keep healthy, and make sure to share valid facts and show them how they can protect themselves. 

    • Answer all their questions with facts.  
    • Make sure they know it is normal to feel uneasy or worries, but also share with them how you feel and cope with your own stress and concerns.
    • Limit your family's exposure to news and social media.
    • Even with schools closing, try to keep to a normal routine with time for leaning, relaxing and fun.Kids learn from us and what we do. 
    • Make sure to model proper behavior by exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep.

    Parenting in a Pandemic: Creating healthy routines

    Parenting in a Pandemic: How to stay positive

    Parenting in a Pandemic: A chance to build strong relationships

    Tips for improving your family's health through sleep 

    Here are some helpful tips to improve your health through sleep

    • Keep hydrated and drink lots of water.
    • Keep a healthy diet and limit sugar and caffeine, especially after 13h00.
    • Limit your consumption of alcohol. 
    • Even though it can help you to fall asleep and make you feel like it is helping, the quality of sleep you receive after drinking it is not worth that temporary lull of the senses.
    • Keep to regular bedtimes, ensuring these are not too late.Make sure to make time for exercise.
    • Try to avoid screen time about 1 hour before you go to bed.
    • Try relaxing activities as part of your bedtime routine such as meditating, yoga, detox baths, or light reading.

    Here are some helpful tips to improve your child’s health through sleep: 

    • Keep them hydrated and offer them lots of water.
    • Make time for outside play and exercise. 
    • Children need to get fresh air and sun.
    • Keep to a healthy diet and limit sugar and avoid caffeine.
    • Keep to regular bedtime routines that include bedtime that are not too late.
    • Limit screen time to only 2 hours before bedtime.Including relaxing activities, such as reading or breathing techniques as part of your bedtime routine.
    • Keep to regular nap times and nap time routines for the littler ones.

    Compiled by Jolandi Becker a certified sleep consultant and of owner of Good Night

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