Whether it’s a crying baby or worries about the responsibilities of work and parenthood there’s lots to keep working dads awake at night. Sleep expert Oli Elliott has some vital sleep tips
Only when you become a dad can you really appreciate sleep. It might be just trying to get enough hours when your kids are little. Or teenagers waking you up as they fall through the front door well past their curfew.
Juggling career and parenthood for working dads can keep you awake at night. It’s a lot of responsibility.
Oli Elliott is a sleep expert with mattress and bedding company DreamCloud Sleep. He’s drawn up a list of sleep tips tailored to help working dads.
Make sure that you keep your work space and sleeping space separate. Your bedroom will not be as relaxing if you associate this space with stress and deadlines. You will feel like you are always at work and this will not be conducive to a work/life balance.
Celebrate the start of spring by bringing some outdoor colour into your own bedroom. Studies have found that the fragrances released by some potted plants such as Lavender and Jasmine are extremely beneficial for settling racing minds, producing better quality sleep and even increasing general well-being. Bedroom plants have also been shown to reduce resting blood pressure, anxiety and background pain, with some studies suggesting they absorb toxins from the air we breathe.
Studying on your laptop or using your phone before bed can make it harder for you to fall asleep. The blue light emitted actually has a direct negative effect on melatonin levels – the hormone known to help induce sleep. Instead, make listening to calm relaxing music or reading a novel part of your nightly ritual. This will help you relax and contribute to an easier time falling asleep
One of the first things people notice upon entering someone’s room is their bedding. A set of fresh neutral coloured linen can work wonders. Similarly, washing bedding frequently – once a week at a high temperature – is key. You wouldn’t not wash your clothes, so treat your bed clothes with the same love, or you’ll be joined in bed by dust, fungi and a whole other host of nasties.
For many working dads, it can be tempting to stay up late once the kids have gone to bed to embrace ‘you’ time. But Oli recommends establishing a regular sleep routine, going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day, and aiming for 7-9 hours where possible. The science behind this comes from a phenomenon called social jet lag whereby your circadian rhythms which dictate sleep need become misaligned with the sleep you’re actually getting, and effects can mimic those of sleep deprivation. Getting into a good routine will make you feel less sluggish when that alarm buzzes for work.
Throw away mattresses which have reached the end of their lives. There are many advantages to buying a new mattress – maybe you’re just in need of a change, and if it has been more than 7 years since you bought yours, it really is time for you to invest in a new one. (Dreamcloud Sleep mattresses guarantee the best sleep of your life!)