This is a Type-A Parent paid post to discuss sleep issues, and to share a new insomnia resource from the National Sleep Foundation.
As moms one of the hardest things to do is turn off our brains. There is always a millions things that we having going through our minds from taking care of the kids, the house, the bills, work deadlines, juggling everyone’s schedules, laundry, dinner, nurturing your marriage (or adult relationship) and somewhere in all that try to take care of ourselves. This constant day-to-day marathon many times, leads me to insomnia. I have tried many things over the years to deal with my insomnia; some worked and some didn’t. Here are my top 5 tips for getting a better nights sleep.
Before I tell you what does work let me tell you a few things I have tried in the past that didn’t work. Counting sheep, horses or whatever you want has never worked for me even as a child. I don’t know why but it never did. I’ve tried tea that was supposed to help you sleep and again that didn’t really work for me either. It tasted great but it didn’t make me sleepy. Lastly my dear sweet grandma, god rest her soul, used to always give me warm milk before bed. Again it tasted good but never really made me sleepy. I am sure there are other things I’ve tried but I can’t remember them. LOL So here is what does work!
5 Tips for Getting a Better Nights Sleep
- Go to bed at the SAME time every day! Yes I know this seems very child like but think about it for a minute. Do you ever notice how your kids wake up at the same time every morning regardless of if you let them go to bed a little later on the weekends?? This is because you have trained their little bodies to go to bed at a certain time and get up at a certain time. As adults we forget how important schedules can be for sleep. Try making it a point to go to bed at the same time every day.
- Keep your room an Electronics FREE Zone! Okay I just heard that gasp you made. I hear ya. I love my Galaxy Note 3. I am guilty of checking my email in the middle of the night. But when you use your laptop, cellphone, or tablet at night you are stimulating your brain. The light from the screen is telling your brain it is time to get up not go to sleep. If you have a house phone (yes they do still exist LOL), then charge your phone in another room. If your cellphone is your only phone then turn off all your notification alarms before you go to bed and have it facing down while it is charging. If you wake up in the middle of the night resist the urge to pick it up. Instead try to re-position yourself and try to relax with some long, slow, deep breaths.
- Take a Shower before bedtime! If you are like me then you love a nice hot shower. The benefit of showering before bedtime is two-fold. 1. It helps you body and muscles to relax. 2. The rise in your body temperature in the shower followed by a sudden drop in body temperature once you get our of the shower signals to your body that it is time to go to sleep.
- If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes in bed get up! I had never heard of this before I read it on Sleepfoundation.org. I am super guilty of laying in bed for hours thinking about everything including why I can’t sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation: “Lying in bed awake can create an unhealthy link between your sleeping environment and wakefulness. Instead, you want your bed to conjure sleepy thoughts and feelings only.” They suggest getting up and going into another room to do some relaxation techniques, reading a book, or listening to music.
- Add Exercise into your daily schedule! There’s that gasp again. LOL Yes I know exercise isn’t fun but it has many benefits. Not only will you feel better about your self, gain more energy and stamina but you will also sleep better. Think about it. When your kids have been active during the day they sleep like babies that night. Same goes for adults. Try to make time to exercise in the morning or early afternoon. This will give you the benefits you need without causing you sleep issues. Exercising within an hour before bedtime isn’t enough time to allow your body and mind to unwind.
Be sure to check out a new resource from the National Sleep Foundation at sleepfoundation.org/insomnia – a good place to start if you think you have insomnia or aren’t sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation is your trusted resource for everything sleep – understanding how sleep works & why it’s important, learning healthy habits, creating a relaxing bedroom & bedtime routine, & finding solutions to your sleep issues.