Sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo shares how you can give her what she really wants this Mother’s Day – a good night’s sleep. Here are five expert-endorsed and unexpected gift ideas that will really help her get the rest she needs.
Sleep: it’s free. And we all want more of it, so why is it so hard to get? Specifically – that consistent, restorative, uninterrupted, eight-hours-a-night kinda sleep. Which is why we’ve enlisted Sydney-based sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo to solve our myriad of sleep concerns with our Sleep Well Wednesdays series. Check back every fortnight and you’ll be off to the land of nod before you know it.
If you read our recent articles on why women sleep worse, the best gift you can give mum this Mothers Day is a probably a good night’s rest.
Especially with many mums being primary caregivers, breastfeeding and going through menopause (oh, the fun just doesn’t stop!), I am certain all your dear mum really wants is to sleep that little bit easier – and here’s five ways that can happen.
However, there are still many things that you – as a daughter, son, partner – can recommend to you the mother in your life that will help her sleep that little bit easier – even if these forces may be against her.
1. Book her a massage
Not only for her weary bones; but the evidence indicates – yes, scientific evidence, as noted in a 2010 study by Group Health Research Institute, Washington, that massages can reduce anxiety by 50 per cent – which may be keeping her up through the night. And, if you really want to push her sleep buttons, give her a 10 minute nightly back massage too, over the course of three days: a 2013 clinical trial published in International Journal of Science and Research found this was able to help individuals fall asleep faster, and improve sleep quality, too.
2. Offer some sound relief
Whether it’s snoring (probably the second worst thing you can hear from your parents bedroom), or perhaps the little ones are kicking and screaming, noise is a major sleep saboteur: a 2019 study by the University of Basel, Switzerland, found that for every 10 decibel increase in noise, sleep onset was delayed by 5.6 minutes, and sleep efficiency reduced by three per cent. Perspectively, this means that a noisy household could lengthen the time it takes mum to fall asleep by 45 minutes, and reduce her sleep quality by 24 per cent. To remedy this, try some soft, female designed earplugs from Otifleks, or visit your local pharmacy – they usually have a range of ear plugs on offer, too.
3. Give the gift of bamboo
Especially for mums who are hot sleepers, pregnant, breastfeeding, or going through menopause; bamboo will be a lifesaver: it contains thermoregulatory properties, which can keep the body cool throughout the night, instead of overheating (and waking up in a sweaty mess). Ideally, seek out 100 per cent bamboo sheets, available from brands including The Bamboo Shop and Adairs; and bamboo pjs, like the range by Clementine Sleepwear.
4. Create a scent-sational sleep sanctuary
A sleep sanctuary goes beyond the stock standard bedroom – it’s about curating a space she loves to wake up in. For this, there’s a few necessities, naturally: a mattress and pillow suited to her sleeping profile, a doona that feels ‘just right’ (see point above RE overheating), a tech-free space, and a beautiful scent to lure her into slumberland: 100 per cent organic lavender oil is my pick. Go one step further by adding it to her diffuser before she’s entered the bedroom – your thoughtfulness will make her feel that little bit more special.
5. Send her to sleep with a gratitude note
What every mum wants: a simple thank you. Help her sleep easier this Mother’s Day (and every day) by letting her know she is valued, loved, cared for and respected. A simple note is more than enough – often, it’s the gesture that counts (you don’t need to be a wordsmith). For me, that would be writing something like: “Mum, thank you for supporting, loving, listening and laughing with me. Through the highs and the lows, the thick and the thin, the good and the bad – you’ve been there by my side. Thank you, I love you, and sleep well.”