How are you sleeping?

TOBIn your practice, do you routinely ask women how they’re sleeping? And if you do, what do you do with that information? Do you use sleep-related questions as a way of triggering and exploring all manner of topics with women? Are there things that you say to all women and families about sleep and rest, or do you only discuss sleep if the woman raises the subject herself?

I am a big fan of sleep, and an even bigger fan of how conversations about sleep can lead to really useful insights for everyone. I wrote about this in my Thinking Outside the Box column in The Practising Midwife last year and I’m delighted that they are allowing me to share How are you sleeping? with you now.

“Over the course of my practice, I have learned the value of asking women about how they are sleeping, because this question can lead in to all sorts of useful conversations. Yet much of the literature in this area focuses on pathological and problematic situations in relation to sleep. In this article, I offer food for reflection on this: I ask whether we need to place more focus on seeking balance; reflect briefly on my own experience and on a book which influenced my own and women’s perceptions of this area; and ponder what kind of approach we would need to take in order to gain a deeper understanding of sleep and rest, especially as these relate to pregnant and new families.”

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