You’ve recently completed SleepWell Sleep Planning and your children are sleeping beautifully.  Your evenings are peaceful and your little ones are experiencing all the benefits of a good night’s sleep.  There is just one little problem- while they sleep soundly you find yourself awake, tossing and turning throughout the night.  Or maybe, you’ve become accustomed to waking hourly, listening for crying or little footsteps down the hall.  What can you do to get your own sleep back on track?  Check out our list of SleepWell Basics, Behaviours and Busters.

Sleeplessness at night

SleepWell Basics

  • Wake up at the same time every day.
    • This includes weekends. Expose yourself to light to help your body get into a natural sleep rhythm.
  • Choose a time to go to bed each night.
    • You may not actually fall asleep at this time but decide on a time when you will begin to focus on sleep.
  • Schedule enough time for sleep.
    • People who are well rested have a basal sleep need of 7 ½ – 8 ½ hours of sleep per night.
    • Those who are chronically overtired need more sleep to pay back sleep debt which has accumulated over time.

SleepWell Behaviours

  • Create a bedtime ritual that will help you wind down and ready the body for sleep.
    • A warm bath and reading a book will cue your body that it’s time for sleep and help you detach from the busyness of the day.
  • Devote your bedroom to sleep.
    • Ensure your room is very dark, quiet and slightly cooler than room temperature.
    • A dark room promotes melatonin production.
    • Take out TV’s, work and other distractions.
  • If you can’t sleep, get out of bed.
    • Train your body to associate your bed with sleep. If you are in bed and unable to sleep, get up, do something quietly and then go back to bed when you feel sleepy.

SleepWell Busters

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and drugs that disrupt sleep.
    • Each of these substances causes the brain to stay alert for up to 9 hours after consumption.
    • Alcohol has a rebound effect in our bodies. While it initially causes us to be sleepy, once it’s metabolized it acts as a stimulant.
  • Eat healthy foods to promote healthy sleep.
    • Finish your last meal at least 2 hours before bedtime.
    • A healthy, balanced diet is necessary for the body to repair and recharge during sleep.
  • Check your worries at the door.
    • Worry and anxiety over sleeplessness only causes more sleeplessness.
    • Try stress reduction strategies such as meditation, yoga, counselling, hobbies and fresh air exercise.


Alysa Dobson is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant with SleepWell Baby.  She works with families to help them get the sleep they need.  Alysa offers support to parents with children ages 4 months- 8 years old through both in home and remote consultations.  She can be contacted at alysa@sleepwellbaby.ca.

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