A recent study showed that - on average - new parents lose a total of 50 nights of sleep in the first year of their child's life.
I have three children, none of whom have ever been average. Always enormous and forever hungry, between the lot of them, we’d be lucky to get through a night with less than five wakings.
Which means that when 7pm rolls around, while I do sigh a quick breath of relief that they’re (generally) all finally in bed, I have also started to experience the all-too-familiar nighttime fears. Parents of non-sleepers will know the feeling. When the sun goes down, and an overwhelming sense of dread rises in your stomach, staring down the barrel of what the night will hold.
So rather than drowning my fears in a tub of ice cream and a stiff drink on the nightly, I have instead decided to pour my nerves into creating the most blissful bedroom to retreat to when all three children’s heads do finally hit their pillows. As we’re spending so much time indoors, there’s never been a more important time.
Here is what I’ve discovered, adored and welcomed into my bedroom to be the sanctuary it deserves to be …
There was a time when I lusted after the perfectly ironed, impeccably tucked bed linen that’s usually reserved for lush hotel suites. Now, I’m all about lived-in linen. The type that’s layered, soft, slightly wrinkled and in tones that create a sense of peace and calm.
No one does it better than Cultiver, whose sheets, doona covers and throws are 100% European Flax. I’ve bought linen before that felt ever-so-slightly sandpapery before the first few washes, but Cultiver couldn’t be softer from day one. Carefully woven and stonewashed, the brand actually incorporates an enzyme wash to accelerate the softening process that naturally comes with every wash as linen ages – so that it has a vintage feel from the first time you use it.
I opted for the duvet cover set in smoke grey and the heavenly Mira linen throw for the base of my bed, and now I have the indigo sheet set on my wish list, because this brand simply can’t get any better.
Key to that ready-to-dive-in-and-go-to-sleep appeal are some effortlessly arranged cushions, ideally filled with duck feathers for the ultimate fluffiness.
I’ve chosen a few pieces from hygge:liv like this La Paz cushion, because not only are they gorgeous and one-of-a-kind, but they’re completely sustainable, having been created from unused fabrics.
A sleep solution
She must have been tired of all my complaining and yawning, because my mum oh-so-kindly ordered me a month’s supply The Perfect Pair from MISTER JONES. This vitamin brand has been scientifically formulated for women to support energy levels, sleep quality, skin health and stress relief, and I can wholeheartedly say that the Sleep Tight formula has made a significant improvement in the quality of my sleep.
While I previously struggled to get back to sleep after breastfeeding or tending to one of my older children, now I’m fast asleep before I’ve even had a chance to run through my usual arsenal of anxieties.
When my days seem to involve running on the spot (or perhaps more accurately, doing burpees while dodging snowballs), I need a good book to ground me and take my mind away from the madness of real life.
Beautiful, gripping storytelling is key, and I don’t object to sad or dark reads, as long as they transport me into the world of the characters. My latest favourites have been Ask Again, Yes, Girl, Woman, Other, Fleishman Is In Trouble, Three Women, Eggshell Skull, An American Marriage, Fates and Furies, and of course, A Little Life.
The best pyjamas
The power of a nice pair of pyjamas cannot be underestimated when you’re in the throes of newborn life, and so I’ve made it my mission to find the best.
Now, all that’s left to do is apply this same rigour to my children’s bedrooms and bedtime routines, and perhaps some sleep will be imminent …