Anyone who knows me knows I love my sleep, but it goes far beyond the "it's what you do every night" thought process for me.
When I swam, I could fall asleep anywhere at any time. I even used to have a quick kip at the pool before my warm up on race day! I have never needed a sleeping tablet, would fall asleep more easily if I was stressed and genuinely didn’t realise what an asset my ability to sleep in all circumstances was until it was taken away from me when I had children.
I'm sure I'm not alone here when I admit I did struggle with motherhood in the early stages as neither of my two children were natural born sleepers, yet I was! Neither seemed to need much sleep, but I did! With my son, Zander, who is now four and a half, I found it difficult to enjoy the process of motherhood and I now know that that feeling was directly attributed to the little sleep I was getting.
I am a cranky, frustrated, overwhelmed, irrational person when I don’t get sleep, so thankfully a visit to Sleep School when Zander was 6 months old turned things around, and I started to understand why people would have more than one child!
Then my daughter, Lexi, was born last year and the sleep issues we had with her brother arose again. This time, I sought help from a couple of Sleep Consultants early, as I really wanted to enjoy the ‘baby’ stage the second time around.
Thankfully, both kids are now good sleepers, and while I would always take more, I am also getting enough sleep to operate at the level my life demands.
Before my children came along I never needed to pay much attention to the mattress I slept on – I could sleep on a chair! But going through that period of lack of sleep taught me to prioritise the quality of my mattress and to optimise my sleeping ‘sanctuary’ – my bedroom.
Now, my whole family sleeps on a Sealy mattress; I even upgraded my parents' bed to thank them for the thousands of early mornings of driving me to the pool! Not only is my Exquisite Ensemble divinely comfortable, it's incredibly supportive as I have a dodgy back from an old gym injury. I like my mattress to be firm but not rigid, and it took me a while to realise that.
I have participated in the Sealy Sleep Census for the last two years as I think it is incredibly important that we have a better understanding of the importance of a consistent, quality night’s sleep – and to prioritise sleep in our lives. After all, as the research shows, the easiest way to improve our health is to get more sleep.
About the author: Giaan Rooney is a mum, Olympic champion swimmer and television presenter.