Month: June 2021

Reading Bedtime Stories

Reading Bedtime Stories

The importance of taking the time to read your child a bedtime story.

Parents everywhere are sure to have experienced their child’s tantrums at bedtime at some point. Whether it’s age-old excuses of reasons why they’re just not tired, wanting to stay up for one more game, or the common internal battle of not letting themselves fall to sleep even though they’re shattered, children seem to have a million tricks up their sleeves to delay heading to the land of nod. Thankfully, children aren’t the only ones with clever methods for bedtimes. Reading a bedtime story to your children can be a wonderful way to encourage sleep, as well as having many more benefits.

Keeping up a routine Reading to your child every night can help them get into “bed mode”. Once they’re tucked up and getting stuck in to a good story, it can help your child to prepare themselves for sleep, relaxing and becoming sleepy without having to battle to get them to bed. It’s also a good idea to encourage your child to love reading too. When reading before bed has been part of their evening routine since they were young, you may find they take to reading independently much more easily too. 

Creating a bond Reading time before bed can often act as a precious few moments of calm that just the two of you share. With busy modern day schedules it can often be difficult to find time for just the pair of you, so getting cosy with a book can help you connect at the end of each day. This calming time can also be a great way to de-stress, for both you and your child. If either of you have had a particularly exciting, busy or even difficult day, a little quiet time can work wonders so neither of you are getting into bed with a busy mind. 

Boosting their creativity Reading to your child helps them to develop their imagination skills. Transporting them into wonderfully magical worlds, introducing new characters and following a plot can help them to create images in their heads. The descriptive language that is often used in children’s books can help make this easier for them too. It’s also a great idea to talk about what you’ve read together, and get your children to describe how they see the story going too.

Aiding their intelligence On top of all the other benefits bedtime reading has, it can also help to boost your child’s intelligence. Studies have shown that it can help develop their logic skills, as well as encourage language development – especially when as the reader you add emphasis and emotion to the words. As your children get older, reading chapter-based books together is a great way to encourage patience in your child. Having to wait for the next time you read together to find out what happens is a good way to practice these skills, without being tempted to rush! Developing a bedtime routine is a great way to build a healthy sleep routine from a young age

Posted by m6beds in Better Night’s Sleep, Child’s bedroom, Children Bedtime Stories, Children's Bed, M6 Beds, School Bedtime Routine, Sleep Better, Toddler’s bedtime routine
How to stop having nightmares every night

How to stop having nightmares every night

Pinpointing the trigger of your nightmares is the first step to preventing them from happening repeatedly. If your nightmares are being brought on by a traumatic life event or you suspect they’re happening because you’re going through a stressful and anxious time, then talking through the problem with friends, family and medical professionals is a good place to start.  

You can also reduce the likelihood of nightmares by making small tweaks to your nighttime routine and environment. This is particularly useful if you are unable to pinpoint the cause of your nightmares or suffer from them infrequently. 

Ways you can improve your sleep hygiene to reduce the frequency of nightmares include: 

  • Avoiding eating immediately before bed – and we don’t just mean cheese! Fatty foods, high carbohydrate foods and yes, even your night-time glass of red can all contribute to a restless night sleep and make it more likely you will suffer from bad dreams 
  • There’s truth in the saying ‘tidy environment, tidy mind’. While fictional, garden nightmares gain inspiration from your environment so you may find that the pile of clothes on the window ledge transforms into the boogie man. Making sure your bedroom is clean, tidy and de-cluttered can go a long way towards being able to shut your mind down for the evening 
  • Putting your phones and tablets down at least two hours before bed. While this seems like an impossible task to some, giving your eyes and mind a rest from the blue light and the non-stop screen activity gives yourself a great chance of a peaceful night’s sleep  
  • Make a list of any worries or troubles you have. This can help declutter your mind and prevent these issues from transforming into nightmares 
Posted by m6beds in M6 Beds, Nightmares, Preventing Nightmares
What types of nightmares do you have?

What types of nightmares do you have?

Why do I keep having weird dreams/nightmares? 

Although garden nightmares seem more closely related to our imagination than they are to real life, there are many who believe that what we dream about is related to things that are going on in our lives. By linking life-fact with dream-fiction we can start to unravel what causes recurring nightmares which can help understand how to stop nightmares from even starting.  

Linking a recurring nightmare to reality is difficult as there is no obvious link between the fictional nightmare and a specific event that has occurred. However, there are widely accepted ideas behind the cause of specific recurring nightmares which could be the first step to you understanding what causes recurring nightmares.  

We have collated some of the most widely reported nightmare themes and their potential triggers to help those of you who are stuck in a cycle of constantly having bad dreams. 

Teeth falling out 

If you have ever woken up in a cold sweat with the vivid memory of losing all your teeth, you’re not alone; having your teeth fall out is actually a very common nightmare. 

There are two main interpretations for this nightmare. The first looks at how from the beginning of humankind our teeth have been one of our most powerful tools. Losing them in our dreams is therefore associated with a feeling of a loss of power which, in turn, has also been linked to a feeling of lacking in self-confidence. 

The second interpretation of this nightmare scenario stems from a potential lack of self-worth and worries of how we come across to other people.   

Falling  

Whether it’s falling off a building or falling in the street, the ‘falling’ theme is another common nightmare to have. It’s widely thought that the act of falling and the fear associated with it in our nightmares is caused by anxiety triggered by a stressful situation. This might be anxiety caused by a single event, or anxiety which has built up over a long period of time. If you’re suddenly experiencing nightmares where you fall, it may be worth looking at your levels of anxiety and stress.  

Being chased 

Being chased, along with an inability to flee, is often interpreted as the dreamer feels that they are struggling to pursue a life goal. Didn’t get the interview you were hoping for? Is your own business struggling to take off? All these personal ambitions and what you perceive as inability to achieve them can be related to this nightmare. 

Posted by m6beds in Bedroom Layout, Better Night’s Sleep, M6 Beds, Nightmares, Preventing Nightmares
What Causes Nightmares

What Causes Nightmares

Why do we have nightmares? 

Although they sound similar, there is a distinct difference between bad dreams and nightmares. Bad dreams often occur as part of a night’s sleep, but they pass without causing disturbance. Nightmares, on the other hand, are closely linked to strong sensations of stress and fear. These feelings can lead to a poor night’s sleep and ultimately a feeling of fatigue and general grogginess the next day.  

Nightmares in both adults and children and are most likely to occur during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stages of sleep, otherwise known as deep sleep. We progress from slight sleep into a state of REM throughout the night, which is people tend to experience nightmares in the small hours of the morning. 

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why we have nightmares and weird dreams, however there are certain factors that are widely believed to contribute to nightmares. These range from eating before we go to bed through to more complex psychological issues. 

Popular theories as to why we have nightmares include: 

  • Stress and anxiety in our day-to-day lives 
  • A one-off traumatic incident such as an accident or being attacked 
  • Consumption of media such as scary films and television programmes 
  • Our own imagination 
  • Medication 
  • Our sleeping environment 
  • Mental health such as depression 
  • Eating before bed 

Garden nightmares versus post-traumatic nightmares 

They key to understanding the cause of a nightmare is to first break down what type of nightmare it is you are having. There are two categories; garden nightmares and post-traumatic. 

Garden nightmares are created purely in our imagination and are as a result, bear little-to-no resemblance to real life. Nightmares where you are being chased by a mythical character or are situated in a fantasy world are classed as garden nightmares.  

Post-traumatic nightmares are linked to a specific event which has happened in a person’s life. These nightmares play back the event to the individual while they sleep. The trauma is often amplified in the nightmare and can be extremely distressed.  

The main difference between these types of nightmare (other than one being fiction and one being fact) is the after effect. Garden nightmares are generally unpleasant at the time, but when we wake up and realise that it was a nightmare, there is a sense of relief and the unpleasant feelings subside. Those who suffer from post-traumatic nightmares do not get a sense of relief as the nightmare causes them to continue reliving a traumatising event. This type of nightmares can prevent an individual from recovering psychologically from the trauma that they experienced.  

Posted by m6beds in Common dreams, Dreams, M6 Beds, Nightmares, Preventing Nightmares