Tired after the New Year holidays? Would you like to sleep for at least 600 more minutes? Or maybe your kids jump out of bed every half an hour and have already completely brought you to the handle?
The beginning of January is a dark day for people suffering from lack of sleep.
Google search, a modern indicator of such problems, shows that the number of searches for the words “children do not sleep” reaches a maximum at this time of year.
Just imagine those trembling fingers frantically tapping on the keyboard and fumbling around on the screen of a mobile phone, hoping to get an answer that will magically allow you to finally forget and fall asleep …
Children during the New Year holidays are constantly on edge: they stay up late, staring at the screen, play computer games to the limit, devastate holiday stocks in the refrigerator, and the chances of a full-fledged children’s sleep are approaching zero.
Then, one fine day, they again need to go to school, and they trudge there in the morning, like zombies, staring their eyes red from fatigue into the January darkness.
Adults suffer as much as children. Early January is the peak time for searching for “sleep” and “I need to sleep.”
As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. And parents, dejected by family insomnia, begin to invent their own coping strategies.
After reviewing online sleep apps and websites like Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories and calm.com, we’ve compiled some of the more eccentric ideas.
In each case, it is claimed that the idea has already been tested somewhere. Although one can only imagine how bad things must have been.
These ideas have no chance of appearing in any of the many unbearably boring books that tell us about how ideal parents raise their children right.
13 weird ways to put your baby to bed
- Explain to the child the meaning of the infrastructure projects of Chinese leader Xi Jinping
- Play an audio recording of a chapter from an 18th-century Scottish book on economics being read by an extremely mournful teacher
- Watch a video of a crossword puzzle competition with your child
- Listen to an hour-long recording of yawning people
- Turn on the vacuum cleaner
- Watch a movie about sheep grazing in slow motion
- Invent a non-existent monster. For example, “Man 8 o’clock”, which catches children awake after eight.
- Put the baby on your chest and slowly rotate in a circle
- Put the kids in the car and ride through the streets
- Sing them the national anthem
- Rotate baby’s bed 180 degrees
- Put an alarm clock under the pillow, the ticking of which should remind the beat of the mother’s heart
- Put mother-smelling clothes in the crib
Loughborough University professor Kevin Morgan, who works in the Department of Clinical Sleep Research, says that if one were to create a situation of chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue for the experiment, it would probably strongly resemble the New Year and Christmas holidays.
According to the scientist, this is a real “perfect storm”: late going to bed, overeating and unpredictable wake-up times.
To this we can add alcohol, which worsens the quality of sleep, and subconscious stress associated with preparing for Christmas and New Year.
It’s a whole cocktail of bad sleep ingredients, exacerbated, according to Professor Morgan, by the fact that late December and early January are the darkest and most depressing times of the year.
The key to good sleep is the right, regular routine, says Kevin Morgan. But on Christmas and New Year’s days, the entire family schedule is turned upside down.
“By January 2nd, you’re probably out,” says the professor. “Noisy kids are getting on your nerves, and things are getting a little tense.”
Set sleep mode
There are, however, other, not so strange ways to improve the situation. British doctors are advising parents to set a consistent time for their children to go to bed.
At the same time, putting the child to bed should turn into a well-known, familiar daily routine for him. Experts advise taking a bath before bed and a bedtime story in a dimly lit bedroom.
Computers, mobile phones, televisions should be turned off as they prevent the child from falling asleep. British National Health System doctors recommend turning off all screens one hour before a child goes to bed.
The room in which the child sleeps should be dark, tidy and quiet. Blackout curtains should block out light from the street, and the air temperature should be comfortable – neither too high nor too low.
Professor Morgan emphasizes that the effectiveness of these simple and mundane rules depends on how well parents manage to establish a regimen.
In addition, daily walks in the fresh air, instead of constantly sitting in front of the screen, can help children fall asleep.
But there are no magic recipes, Professor Morgan warns. “Children are extremely excited around Christmas and New Year’s, and excited people can’t sleep,” he recalls.