This simple guide on how to get better sleep will give you practical advice on how to create a perfect bedtime routine, get a good night’s sleep you yearn for, and enjoy a productive morning the next day.
Good slumber is all you need to beat lack of energy, low productivity, and often irritation, anxiety, and depression.
With the stresses of mom life/adult life, it’s difficult to suffice your sleep requirements and not to mention your sleep quality.
On one side, you hardly get any shut-eye and on the other hand, you have to face the unending demands of mommy duties – breastfeeding, recovering after delivery, household chores, babysitting, or running after the toddlers. Plus, if you work outside or at home, you have added responsibilities to manage.
But do you know, for your body to perform at its best you’ve got to accept one more responsibility towards yourself and that is getting
plenty of enough sleep?
Why is getting enough sleep important?
I’m sure during this pandemic we all have been concerned about our health, mostly about our immunity. And, now is when we have heard about the role of sleep in improving our immune system than ever before.
Along with stronger immunity, getting a good night’s sleep is beneficial in many ways. Sleep improves alertness, concentration, memory; lowers stress. Studies have shown people who are deprived of sleep tend to eat more calorie-packed (unhealthy) food and weigh substantially high. While people with a good sleep pattern enjoy the benefits of younger-looking skin, healthy hair, soundness of mind, and a lot of energy to perform tasks.
By practicing good sleep habits you can eradicate minor sleep issues and get quality sleep.
8 TIPS TO GET BETTER SLEEP [FOR BUSY MOMS]
1. Work in favor of your circadian clock:
Let’s start with the obvious one. Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day.
Circadian rhythm or circadian clock aka the internal or body clock moderates your sleep-wake cycle. The essential thing you can do to improve your circadian clock is to fall asleep at a consistent time.
Although it’s hard to follow this step with younger kids. You still need to have a rough idea about when you want to go to bed and what time to wake up. Observe the time when you feel absolutely sleepy. Note the amount of sleep (hours) you require to wake up without an alarm. The figure you get is the exact amount of rest you need. If you could get that much rest you’ll be more productive and calm throughout the day.
Make sure you go to bed at a decent hour. I have a tough time following this step. Still, to wake up at a decent hour if not early, and feel fresh, bright, wakeful, and energetic you must hop into bed earlier. I consider 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. to be a reasonable time for bed.
Another good way to help your circadian clock is exposure to sunlight in the daytime. Sleeping into the noon, long naps during the day, napping in the evening is a surefire way to disrupt your sleep cycles.
2. Sleep in cool temperatures:
On top of promoting the body’s melatonin production (an antioxidant/anti-aging hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle), sleeping in cool temperatures helps you doze off quickly.
Our body temperature rises naturally as we near wake-up time. This causes us to sweat and wake up in the middle of the night. Thus sleeping in a cold room can remarkably improve the quality of your sleep by keeping your body temperature cool.
The increase in melatonin production as a result of sleeping at a cool temperature ensures uninterrupted or sound sleep which moreover regulates your metabolism and lowers the risk of diseases.
3. Redo your bedroom to get some Z’s:
By redo, I refer to a few simple tweaks. Research shows that the look and feel of your bedroom can have a noticeable impact on your sleep quality. There’s more than lighting and temperature towards creating the right sleep environment. Keep your bedroom clutter-free. Go through your room quickly and straighten things up. Keep your bedding, mattress, sheets, duvets/comforters, pillows — comfortable in terms of colors and fabrics. If you don’t want to spend money, consider keeping them clean and fresh.
4. Avoid gadgets in bed:
Exposure to electric lighting at night shows a negative effect on sleep as it delays melatonin production, produces cortisol, and sets up alertness.
To avoid mental stimuli try not to use devices at least 30 or 45 minutes before your bedtime. Kick out or turn off the television, tablets, laptop from the bedroom since the sound, lights, and movements from the gadgets stimulate your brain and hinder sleep.
5. Brain dump:
You have too much on your plate. Your mind is racing so much that you cannot relax at all? A good brain dump session is what you need.
A brain dump is a practice of letting out all the thoughts, to-dos, wishlists, emotions, feelings that perpetually cause stress and anxiety. There are a lot of ways people do a brain dump. For me, writing out in my journal ( a pen and paper) works pretty well.
Brain dumping describes writing out your thoughts in the order of their occurrence. I suggest you not feel awkward or hold back from writing out any embarrassing or uncomfortable things that come to your mind. Just unreservedly bring it out. I agree thoughts can be awkward pretty much of the time, but you’re anyways not going to share it with anyone. And I recommend you not share it unless you’re comfortable doing so.
Interested in learning more about brain dumping? My friend Ashley from chronicallycaffeinatedmom.com has written a helpful article Four Huge Benefits Of Brain Dumping
6. Early dinner:
Besides helping maintain healthy body weight, eat early dinner can promote better slumber. Eating meals around your bedtime interfere with your sleep as the digestion process takes up energy while you are asleep. Therefore, having meals 2-3 hours prior to your bedtime is recommended. This allows your body time to complete the digestion process and get the much-needed rest so that you can enjoy quality sleep.
Having caffeine late in the day can keep you awake at night. It is advisable that you have your coffee before 5 p.m.
Drinking warm milk before bed is also said to be beneficial as it induces sound sleep and makes you fall asleep faster.
7. Wind up ritual:
Avoid stress-inducing activities like watching the news, checking emails, or social media before bedtime.
Pick good sleepwear. I love cotton for being 100% natural, breathable, and gentle on the skin.
Develop bedtime rituals — turn down the lights. Wash your face. Brush your teeth. Soak in the bath. Cuddle up with a good novel. Cuddle up with your hubby, kids, or pets. Create a to-do list for the next day. Do your prayer or meditate for 5 minutes to clear out any thoughts or write something good about your day. Do some light stretchings.
Last but not least intimacy can greatly help you doze off quicker. Keeping the ‘scientific part” aside, the feeling of love and affectionate touch is such a stress-buster or mood booster. Also, the release of endorphins results in a sense of bonding, belonging, connection, wellbeing, relaxation, and happiness.
Establishing these soothing pre-sleep habits you can get good shut-eye. These are just elements of a good sleep routine. To create a perfect bedtime routine, observe the behaviors that are destructive to your own sleep cycles and bring change.
Over to you. Be sure to share your best tips and tricks to get better sleep in the comments section below. Sleep tight!