Sleep better, feel better

By Lucy Boulton


How Parents Can Use Sleep and Dreams to Boost Wellbeing

By Leah Larwood



We’ve all seen or felt the effects of sleep deprivation at some point in our lives, and it comes as a given when you become a parent.

There’s the constant inner battle of judgement when you overhear a Mother that claims her child has always slept straight through and they never get woken in the night and the aftermath of amazement that follows from her social group, questioning her tricks and tactics.

There’s no magical formula, but perhaps looking at your own quality of sleep (when you get it!) could play a major part in how you feel day to day?


I spoke with Leah Larwood, Clinical Hypnotherapist with a specialism in dreams and founder of The Moon Lab, to get her take on improving the sleep of parents through lucid dreaming:


“Motivation and intention play an important part in your success of using mindfulness of dreams and sleep techniques, so it’s important to make sure you feel into your body and really tap into a strong motivation before you embark.

When you’re within a lucid dream, you’ve accessed a really refined state of consciousness. It’s a bit like a state of hypnotherapy, only more powerful, and you’re totally in the driving seat.”


Things you can do within a lucid dream to support your wellbeing as a parent…


Enhance me-time: Practise yoga, meditation, spend time with far-flung friends and family or simply fly around mountaintops. Whatever you are lacking in your new busy life as a parent, you can do this within your lucid dream!


Support seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the winters: As a new parent holidays may take a backseat for a while but you can visit exotic places in your lucid dreams and wake feeling as though you’ve had a much-needed dose of sun. This really works! I’ve visited the Maldives, India, the Caribbean and Sicily and woken feeling not only inspired but with a real spring in my step.


Overcoming colds: The subconscious is a powerful place. We can heal ourselves with our minds, it’s a known fact. It’s possible to overcome or improve the symptoms of a cold virus or illness within a lucid dream. Simply call out to the lucid dream for healing. You can even visualise a healing white light on the part of your body you wish to heal.


Using the different sleep states


You can also use other sleep states to find creative inspiration and to discover new insights. Try using the hypnogogic and hypnopompic states to recite sankalpas, affirmations, visualisations and intentions – the results will be tenfold!






This is the first stage of sleep, a very light sleep, and it’s often accompanied by hypnogogic imagery: the dreamy hallucinations that flash and fade in our mind before we drift off. This state is a great place to recite affirmations as you drift off to sleep.


Tip: Try reciting an affirmation to boost your wellbeing when in this state. It can be about anything that you would find beneficial to you. For example, if you’re exhausted and not sleeping enough try reciting: “I sleep deeply and wake refreshed”.





This is the transitional state between sleep and full wakefulness, just before our mind has woken fully from sleep and when our eyes are still usually closed. It’s characterised by a soft clarity of mind and resting in what’s one of the most refined levels of consciousness. It’s also a great place to access the lucid dream state too. Although, of course, as a parent, it’s rare to luxuriate in this state for very long.


Tip: Again, you can use affirmations in this sleep state or even use it to find insights to problems. Keep your eyes closed and stay in the same position you woke in and bring to mind a burning question you have - reflect on it in this state. You’re more likely to find clarity when exploring the problem in this state.




NB: When creating a sankalpa or affirmation: It’s important to use the first person ‘I’ and the present tense e.g. I feel joy in my life, I am abundant with feelings of joy.




For more details on Leah’s work, workshops and events visit


Instagram @MeetTheMoonLab



Former Career Nanny and now Childcare specialist recruiter at The Lady, Lucy Boulton has over 12 years’ experience with children of all ages. With a passion for exceptional childcare and giving advice, Lucy is delighted to be offering regular blogs alongside helping families find the perfect nanny through the services provided by The Lady.

If you or someone you know is searching for an experienced Nanny, contact Lucy today on