When was the last time you could honestly say you got a good night’s sleep? I used to think that when my children got older, I would sleep well again. Now my kids aren’t so young anymore, but I’m still not getting that amazing sleep!
All too often I spend my evening hours tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. When I do finally fall asleep, it doesn’t feel like deep sleep at all. Busy moms can’t afford to function on little to no sleep, but that doesn’t mean we don’t do it. You may be surprised to find out that you are the reason you’re not getting enough sleep! Here are some tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.
How to sleep better as a busy parent.
Avoid bright lights during the night
- Darkness makes our brain secrete melatonin, which makes us feel sleepy. However, when light is present, it does just the opposite! It causes the body to wake up, not fall asleep. Lower your light an hour or two before bedtime, and if you need to get up during the night, look for a dim night-light.
No screen time before bed
- Using your computer or phone during the day is no problem, but getting immersed in social media channels or e-mail before bedtime can actually keep you from falling asleep. These are considered stimulating activities and may keep your mind from winding down right before bedtime. Avoid stimulating activity before bed such as TV, thrilling novels, or big issue discussion.
Skip the afternoon coffee
- Your heart may have skipped a beat after reading this one, but trust me. Caffeine during midday can ruin your chance of a good night’s sleep later. Teas, coffee ice cream, and even decaf coffee can even keep you awake. If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, keep your caffeine intake to a minimum after noon if possible.
Don’t watch the clock
- I bet you didn’t expect to see this one. It’s true that the act of checking the time can ruin your sleep. Clock-watching will transition you from sleepy to a slightly awakened state. Your mind wakes up, and you prolong sleep. Should you wake up in the middle of the night, fight the urge to look at the clock. People who don’t check the time, fall asleep much faster.
Don’t skip exercise
- Daily workouts are likely a memory of the past, but skipping that workout is a mistake! It’s important to exercise during the day to not only keep you fit, but help you sleep! Working out in the afternoon will leave you sleepy at bedtime, and keep you happier and healthier throughout the day.
Everyone has sleepless nights, it’s part of being a parent. If your sleep problems are happening more than once in awhile, give a couple of these tips a try.