If you’ve ever raised a child (or two, or three), then you know how precious sleep can be (and how seldom the chances to grab some come along). It’s one of the biggest struggles about being a parent. Well, you know, if you don’t take into account the immense pressure of teaching your kids right from wrong, correct moral judgement, how not to be prejudiced and the great benefits of hard work and delayed gratification later on in life. Aside from that, getting sufficient sleep and the right quality of sleep is pretty difficult. But life is all about trial and error, and when the situation arises you adapt and learn a few things along the way.

Get some shut eye when your kids do

This might seem like pretty obvious advice, but I get the feeling it’s sometimes overlooked. If you put the kid down for a nap, have a nap at the same time. You might be tempted to squeeze in an hour of something from Netflix, but try refrain and catch a kip instead. Don’t worry about not waking up when they do; as a parent, you’re acutely tuned in to the screams of your children and have almost a preternatural sense of the state of their consciousness when the wailing begins. By doing this you’ll be getting some broken sleep, but at least you’re getting something.

Don’t skimp on the mattress

This is an important one. You’re not going to be getting an adequate amount of shut-eye and that means the sleep you are getting should be of the highest quality. Therefore, you should get your hands on a mattress that’s firm, supports your body and regulates heat so you stay cool during the night and don’t toss and turn. Rather than going to IKEA, you can actually just order a mattress online through a company like Eve. At the end of the day, you’ll feel more refreshed, less grumpy and much less likely to get into an argument with your significant other over whose turn it is to make the salad at dinner.

The old “one night on, one night off”

This one is foolproof and guarantees you get a good night’s sleep at least half the time. It’s also great for building a partnership with your SO. You take the first night’s shift staying up with the kid(s) and waking up when they do, soothing them and getting back to sleep while your partner gets to sleep. The next night you both switch. Think of it like a shift rotation, and generally just a very necessary survival tactic.