Yesterday we asked nannies and au pairs how long they work each day. On our Facebook page 33 in-home childcare providers all answered they work more than eight-hours per day or a 40-hour work week.
It's often hard to feel rested when caregivers have to wake up early and end work late while trying to balance their days with exercise, socializing, and such long work hours.
It is vital that nannies and au pairs get enough rest to function well during their work day. The concern is that caregivers that are sleep deprived may not be alert enough to make sure the kids are safe and lack of sleep effects mood. Children deserve to be cared for by energetic caregivers that aren't cranky from not having enough sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends the following tips to help improve sleep:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, including weekends.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine, such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool.
- Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and comfortable pillows. Make sure they are allergen-free.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex.
- Finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine—coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate—close to bedtime.
- Avoid nicotine—cigarettes and other tobacco products—close to bedtime.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Although many people think of alcohol as a sedative, it actually disrupts sleep, causing nighttime awakenings.