I have a vendetta against sleep. It doesn't like me and, at the moment, I don't like it either. I have always had a bad sleep pattern, never able to get a full nights sleep due to insomnia and over the years have tried many ways of helping but it just doesn't seem to work for me.
It's hard, very hard to function on only a few hours sleep and having children has only made it worse as now, not only do I struggle to sleep, but I am also up with the children or peeing for England whilst pregnant!
It is recommended that adults should get between 7-8 hours sleep per night and this would work well for me as I go to bed around 11pm and wake at 7.20am to get the kids up for school. That's a whole 8 hours and 20 minutes of sleepy goodness. But it doesn't work that way. I will regularly go to bed but not actually get to sleep till way past 1am as my brain just will not shut off. Then getting up with Joseph for a night feed, this cuts off a lot of the time I am actually sleeping per night.
Using a fitness band, it collected information and at the end of the month, I was averaging around 5 hours of sleep per night, not good!
According to this infographic by Mattress Next Day, a staggering 61% of employed people think they don't get enough sleep, 59% from day time jobs such as mine. Whereas people who work rotating shifts are worse off with 71% of them not getting enough sleep. I guess that's down to the constant routine change!
Over 1/5th of people who took the survey say they suffer with a sleep disorder, the most common of the disorders is insomnia which affects 49% of them. Insomnia is horrible, I hate it. Sitting in bed, shattered and wanting to sleep but not being able to, it's draining.
Apart from sleep disorders though, there are many other factors that stop people from getting a full nights sleep. Stress is the biggest with 51% of people being affected by this. There's also bathroom breaks, children, heat and snoring partners, they all affect how much sleep we get. I know they do for me anyway!
Of course, avoiding caffeine and food before bed can help, and even though I assumed exercise would help to make you feel tired, it actually helps to wake you up by getting active so this shouldn't be done at night either. Long warm baths are great to help ease off to a peaceful night and sleeping pills can work but should be the last resort.
When it comes to the boys, I think sleep is so important. Children cannot function properly if they haven't had enough sleep and setting a routine is important, even at a young age, to get them used to sleeping and getting enough of those zzz's.
Joseph is still at the napping during the day stage so his sleep is different but Thomas and Charlie both go to bed at 8pm and wake at 7.20am for school. I believe this is well enough sleep for little ones and it will decline slightly as they get older and need less sleep.
It is worrying to see all the stats and realise that the majority of people have problems with sleeping and that even children are suffering the same too. Maybe as a society, we need to look at our sleep patterns and make sure that, from a young age, we teach our children a good sleeping manner so that they're more likely to sleep better in adulthood too.