The Squawk Blog Post

The Sleep Struggle - Why Are Millennial Parents Not Sleeping?

In partnership with the trusted data survey company Ipsos, Hatch Baby recently conducted a study on family sleep habits. The results are somewhat frightening yet when being discussed in “The Big Nest” (aka. the Rebelstork Headquarters) all of the RS experts were like “Umm, yup that’s my family!”
According to the results, over 50% of millennial parents are not sleeping through the night due to being woken by a child. One in every four parents is only getting four hours of shut eye per night!  With results like these it is no surprise that 77% of parents with children under the age of 5 said that they would be willing to give up something they love or do something they dislike in exchange for a full single night’s sleep!
It’s clear that some serious sleep hacks are needed ASAP.  So, who better to ask then you guys… our FLOCK. Here is the round-up of the top 5 sleep hacks from our FLOCK members!

Hack #1: Wear a Weighted Eye Mask
These are designed to provide relief from headaches, sinus pain and eyestrain but, can also help with shutting down your brain after a hectic day filled with kids and screen time. The team at Well and Good recommend the IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask and Eye Pillow ($14). This weighted eye mask is made with tiny compression balls that conform and mold to your face so that no light gets in (black out blinds for parents). *Pro-Tip: Keep it in the freezer for an extra soothing treat! 

Hack #2: Try a Guided Sleep Meditation 
If you’re anything like us, it takes more than your head hitting the pillow to turn down your thoughts from racing full throttle to counting sheep. Those first few hours of shut eye are essential (especially if you’re still in the 3am feeding stage). An overwhelming number of our FLOCK find it helpful to have something to listen to that will gently coax the mind into relaxation (and eventually REM) mode. We like the app Insight Timer, which offers an assortment of sleep meditations, music and even a curated mix of calming bedtime tales. Bonus? This is an awesome way to get the kids down for nap time too. 

Hack #3: Find Your Calming Sound
You have probably all heard of White Noise, but have you heard of Brown Noise? Well, this was news to us. According to Sam Nicolino founder of Adaptive Sound Technologies, Inc “Brown noise has less-high-frequency sound energy than white noise, it resembles the sound of gentle ocean turf”. Basically, it has more bass than white noise, making it more pleasant to listen to. Try out the  Noise Lite app for a diverse selection of different white and brown noises specifically designed to help you get quality Zz’s. (Learn more about the differences here.

Hack #4: Be Mindful of Your Nap Schedule
Naps are meant to serve as a quick refresh and energy jolt, not a replacement for a good night’s rest. While it seems short, 20-30 mins is all your body needs before it starts settling into the deeper stages of the sleep cycle. This can have the opposite effect, causing you to wake up groggy and disoriented. According to sleep doctors, napping before 2pm is recommended to avoid disrupting meal times and night time rest. So best to set those alarms for 30 mins max. and push through that afternoon energy drop with a power bar instead.

Hack # 5: Love them & then Leave them (…Just for the night) 
If you’re truly experiencing difficulty getting a proper night’s rest, perhaps in stems beyond a busy brain, baby feedings or regular midnight kid visits. The fact is new stresses in life, work and the household changes (a new family member) can make us fidgety, talkative and restless at night. While not all of us are fortunate to have a spare bedroom, it’s not a bad idea to spend a few nights a week  sleeping alone if possible to clock a quality full night of shut eye. This article from The Atlantic is worth a read if you’re interested in delving further into this concept. 

Flock, thanks for helping out by contributing to The SQUAWK!
Xoxo Team Rebelstork