Do you dream of blissful sleep? Is your sleep being interrupted by children in the night? Are you feeling exhausted or ‘running on stress hormones’ all day? Do not fear I have some tips for better sleep for all busy mums.
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing. Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we’re just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.
How does lack of sleep affect us?
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. A mum who gets less sleep tends to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And don’t forget the impact, lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills. Maybe that is the cause of our nagging and reminding in the morning before school?
The three main purposes of blissful sleep
To restore our body and mind. Our bodies repair, grow and even “detoxify” our brains while we sleep.
To improve our brain’s ability to learn and remember things.
To conserve some energy so we’re not just actively running on empty.
Do you know how much sleep adults need?
It’s less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it’s recommended that all adults get 7 – 9 hours a night.
(Don’t worry, I have you covered with some simple tips below.)
Tips for blissful sleep
Create a consistent sleep schedule. Make it a priority and you’re more likely to achieve it. This means turning off your lights 8 hours before your alarm goes off. I know weekends can easily throw this off but by making sleep a priority for a few weeks your body and mind will adjust and thank you for it.
Balance your blood sugar throughout the day. You know, eat less refined and processed foods and more whole foods. Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat.
Stop caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind more active than you want it to be in the evening.
During the day get some sunshine and exercise. These things tell your body it’s daytime; time for being productive, active and alert. By doing this during the day it will help you wind down more easily in the evening.
Create a sleep ritual to prepare your body for sleep. Start your relaxing bedtime routine 1 hour before you go to sleep. This includes dimming your artificial lights, turning off screens and perhaps reading an actual, not e-book or having a bath. Why not light a candle or use some relaxing scents from essential oils. Melatonin is a hormone your body releases to promote sleep and its production is effected by bright lights from computers and TV.
Use an actual alarm clock to wake up so there are no phones or charging lights in the bedroom to disrupt sleep.
Getting enough sleep will improve your mind and mood. Ultimately, you’ll have more patience, increased energy and be able to deal with the morning routine. And, what Mum doesn’t want that?
Would you like the support from a group of like-minded community of mums? Join a Facebook group Simply Happy Mum for motivation and support.