One of the keys to improved recovery, enhanced performance or a better body composition is a higher quality of sleep. Notice I said a higher quality and not just longer sleep. It’s been shown that there is absolutely no substitute for quality sleep. No supplement, no special training program can outdo what quality sleep does.
Unfortunately I get many clients who suffer from poor sleep due to their new born. No amount of my 15 sleep tips will solve this problem but I find if I fix the baby’s sleep, then it’s two birds with one stone. Although poor sleep for a baby is common, it is indeed not normal. If you are suffering try the below tips, you won’t be disappointed.
1) Topical Magnesium
One of your baby’s priorities, besides keeping you awake, is growing. Magnesium is needed for this process and sufficient levels will have a benefit on building strong bones & teeth. Often though this mineral is utilised for other processes such as detoxification impacting on the quality of sleep the baby gets.
Add to the fact that the more active your baby, the more energy they utilise thus the more Magnesium they use. Magnesium is known as a calming nutrient to the CNS & muscles so rubbing this on the bottom of your child’s feet is ideal just before bed.
2) Earthing Sheet
Also known as Grounding, this is not a new practice but one that is relatively less known. When you are in direct contact with the Earth, the Earth’s electrons are conducted into your body creating an antioxidant or anti-inflammatory effect as well as regulating your circadian rhythm. The benefits you receive enable a deeper more restful sleep, lowering of stress hormones and relieving muscle tension.
Simply purchase a sheet to put on or under the baby’s mattress and job done.
3) Liquid Carnitine
Besides the beneficial effect on cognitive function, using carnitine in the morning will set the baby’s excitatory neurotransmitters up for the day allowing for a proper cascade of inhibitory neurotransmitters in the evening. Liquid carnitine is widely available and can be applied to bottle or nipple for feeding.
4) Liquid DHA
Adequate DHA is required for your little one to grow due to its effect on bone marrow but also is integral to brain development. Studies on children that supplementing with DHA has a beneficial effect on sleep due to its effect on Melatonin. The lower your DHA status, the lower the levels of Melatonin released.
DHA can be purchased in liquid or capsule forms so it can be applied in the same way as the Liquid Carnitine, 1-3 times a day.
Consider that the addition of Glutamine can benefit the gut which would mean an increased absorption of nutrients from the diet. It’s a trick I learnt many years ago to combine Glutamine & Magnesium for improved sleep. Glutamine has also shown an ability to increase levels of neurotransmitters.
Purchased as powder and added to milk or an evening drink would be a simple way of ingesting and assimilating.
6) Wifi & Electronics near the Room
Although the Earthing sheet can minimise the disruptive influences of Wifi & electronics, if you are not prepared to invest in one, and even if you are, I highly recommend you remove Wifi appliances from within 4 metres of the baby’s bed/cot. You may not feel it, but your kid’s cells certainly do!
7) Pitch Black
Sleeping in pitch black darkness allows for a deeper sleep partly due to an improved release of Melatonin. All light supresses Melatonin product in fact. Getting into a routine of when lights are out will also regulate your suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) which is responsible for controlling your baby’s circadian rhythm.
Although the above tips may offer quick solutions to your sleeping issues, I highly recommend you do not leave it to when you’re bringing your baby home. Now I know that sounds obvious but what is less obvious is what you do even before the baby is conceived.
I recommend both mother & father get healthy 6 months prior to conceiving. How to get healthy is beyond the scope of this article but ensuring mineral status for Magnesium, Vitamin D & Zinc alongside reducing toxic load and stress levels is a good place to start.