#ad Disclosure – This post is in conjunction with TEMPUR® but all thoughts are my own.
Sleep is something I have always had a bit of a fascination with. The stages of sleep. The importance of deep sleep. Dreaming; what you can do in your sleep without even realising and how important sleep is to your health and general wellbeing. As a child I’ve experienced sleep walking, almost night terrors and the recurrent dream that there is a spider on my pillow or my room is full of flies! So vivid and so real, I’d scream the place down and be in complete belief what I had seen was real. I was convinced and fooled by my dreams.
I loved to sleep though and my Mum said I often asked to go to bed as a child and I definitely learnt how to lie in as a teen and adult.
Thing is, I never really appreciated my sleep until I became a mother, and I know many parents can probably relate too. Sleeping as a parent can become some kind of obsession can’t it? Almost a mirage; you see it for a few seconds and that crying, hungry child makes it vanish, as if it was never there. And it’s crippling when you don’t get those precious needed sleep hours. Broken sleep is exhausting. Overwhelming. For me, life becomes almost a haze, a fog. Anxiety raises its ugly head; I’m snappy, can’t focus, emotional and don’t feel like myself. My appetite is all over the place and I’m often craving the foods that are not the healthiest. I also lose my love for my passions in life, my exercise and being sociable. I have no drive to do either.
To combat this plain exhaustion, everyone says sleep when your baby or child does. Nap. Can I do this? Nope, never have. I either can’t or think I should be doing something else. I have family members who can literally sleep and nap anywhere. On cue, almost immediately, on a washing line, even almost standing up like astronaut! The sleeping routines and habits of astronauts has often interested me; where and how they achieve it, at zero gravity. My daughter has been learning about space travel at school and we often watch short videos of life in space. She loves to watch zero-gravity life and how everything is so different.
For me, sleep is always affected by the unknown and a new environment. I’m bad at sleeping in a foreign hotel room. Whether it be due to the comfort of the mattress or pillow. For a first-time space traveller, I’d be excited to see and experience a new world and completely alien way of living. But I know my anxieties of sleeping in a new environment would affect my sleep and almost certainly the quality of my sleep at first. For astronauts there is no bed, no pillow. With zero gravity, they need no support for their heads and bodies and can sleep freely in a sleeping bag. They just need to completely relax, which for me would take time. And sleep for them is so important being so busy with the tasks they complete and keeping active to look after their bodies.
I’m currently in a world of the unknown at present with just having had my third child. He’s less than a week old as I write this and our whole family has been thrown into a new way of living, to include this tiny little person. Exhaustion is part and parcel of having a baby, delivering a baby and of course sleep is one of the best medicines. But with a little guy who loves my bed and a Mama who has felt a little anxious about the new life we are starting to lead, sleep is starting to evade me a little. Racing thoughts, checking the little guy and feeding him are keeping me up. It’s like a new environment, my new little universe and I feel like an astronaut acclimatising to my new sleep routine.
Comfort and relaxing are therefore vital to me at this time. I’ve experienced insomnia a few times since becoming a mother. The endless task lists, going back to work and leaving my children and general anxiety have been my triggers.
Relaxation and mindfulness can get me through these challenging times but also ensuring I have a comfortable sleep space is vital. This means choosing an appropriate mattress and pillow. Support and physical comfort when sleeping can help with falling asleep and staying asleep. TEMPUR® offer a wide-range of products, mattresses and pillows included, that evenly distribute weight and pressure, ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep. Astronauts have experienced the innovation TEMPUR® has to offer, as it was first created by NASA in the 1970s to cushion astronauts during lift-off as they journeyed into space!
I know my current journey into the unknown, as a Mother of 3 feels like boarding a rocket and travelling into space but I also know that with time and comfort, this new universe will become home and good sleep and rest will follow.
I’m just glad I’m not doing it at zero-gravity!