Oh Baby! Sam’s top sleep tips
Getting a good night’s sleep is key to staying on top of your game – whether you’re on the farm, on the rugby field, or a parent to a new-born baby. Farmstrong ambassador Sam Whitelock and wife Hannah recently welcomed their second child into the world so have been thrust back into the world of sleepless nights.
Like any parents of a newborn, getting quality sleep is hard to come by, but is essential to stay on top of things, perform tasks and maintain wellbeing. Now with two little ones at home there are more considerations needed to help make sure Sam and Hannah both get 40 winks – and to look after each other when they don’t. Sam says working in a partnership with Hannah is important.
“What Hannah and I are going through with a new baby isn’t new, but it’s challenging nonetheless,” Sam says.
“Working in partnership is important. Your parenting instincts just kick in really. We work well in understanding how tired the other may be from getting up during the night and then just chip in to help each other out.”
Acknowledge your tiredness
He says it’s important to acknowledge you are tired, and to let others know.
“If you do feel tired and have things on the next day or have to perform, either around the farm or meeting suppliers, I think it’s really important to front up to the fact you’re feeling tired,” he says.
“If you’ve lost sleep because of the kids during the night, or there are a few things on your mind, you should acknowledge it to yourself and even share it with others if you feel comfortable,” he says.
Focus on tasks, but put safety first
“If I’m struggling a little bit from a disrupted night I’ll do everything I can to get into the moment and think, ‘I’ve got training for two hours or a publicity event to attend’ and just give it all I have for that time.
“It’s no different when you have things to do around the farm. If you have a couple of tasks to tick off, do what you can to get stuck in. It’s all about mental focus.”
However, he says it’s important to listen to your body.
“That said, you have to listen to your body. If it’s saying enough is enough then take a break or park work and see if you can revisit it the next day, safety always comes first.”
Sam’s top tips for getting sleep
Switching off at night helps Sam to sleep. He does this by doing things like writing a list of everything he needs to do the next day on a piece of paper so he can visualise and contextualise it.
“Tucking into a good book can also help leave the day behind.”
With the arrival of baby number two, Sam says he’s added a new technique to help get a good night’s rest, and admits it’s not rocket science but it does the trick.
“If you think your night’s going to be disrupted, get ahead of the curve and go to bed earlier.”
- Go to bed early
- Take a quick power nap/break
- Work together with your partner to support each other
- Let each other take a break
- Acknowledge to yourself and others you’re tired
- Before bed, write a list of what you need to do the next day
- Take a hot shower before bed
- Tuck into a good book
- Stay in the moment/stay focussed
- Avoid coffee, alcohol and screens before bed.
- Get regular exercise and eat healthy food.
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