Published on September 25, 2017 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
Feeling tired and sluggish often? You’re not alone.
You wake up early to get your kids out of bed, get lunches packed and make yourself presentable. So far, so good.
But as you’re getting through the day and being productive, you’re starting to feel tired. Then, after finally winding down for the day, you open your eyes to the sounds of a piercing alarm, and it’s time to do it all over again.
Sound familiar? Being a mom can be exhausting, but you still need your sleep. Sleep helps maintain your brain by actually changing the cellular structure of the brain and removing toxins. Sleep also helps lower your risk of inflammation associated with chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Some research even shows that couples argue less with a good night’s sleep (but did we really need a study to prove that?).
If you’re not satisfied with your sleep schedule, here are simple, realistic tips to wind down and get a better night’s sleep:
Curb the Caffeine
Look, I get it. I put coffee in my coffee! But consuming caffeine even five hours before bedtime can cause frequent, brief awakenings and prevent a restful sleep.
Beware of hidden sources of caffeine beyond the obvious coffee, tea and soft drinks. Coffee-flavored yogurts and ice cream contain some caffeine, as well as chocolate.
Depending on how your body reacts to caffeine, even minor amounts could play a role in affecting your shut-eye. Instead of reaching for a mid-afternoon latte, try another way to boost your energy.
Did you know water could do the trick? When you’re dehydrated, you may feel drained and fatigued. Sometimes, a glass of cold water can give you as much energy as a cup of joe — without interfering with your sleep!
While alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, it can disrupt your cycle of deep sleep.
Alcohol may also have a “rebound” effect, meaning after it has finished metabolizing, you may feel more awake. For example, that glass of wine you have right before bed will leave your system about one hour later, interfering with your quality of sleep for the rest of the night.
If you do enjoy a drink, experiment with saving it for the weekends, not school nights and see how that affects your restfulness.
Time Your Meals
Watch your sugar intake and aim for balanced meals to even out your energy. The right meals can prevent that mid-day crash, which causes you to reach for caffeine or junk food to refuel.
This creates a vicious cycle, making you stay up past a reasonable bedtime, and setting yourself up to be tired the next day all over again!
Along with avoiding junk and caffeine in the afternoon, try to avoid eating a large meal right before bed. Your body will be more focused on digesting and less on sleeping, and laying down after a big meal can cause indigestion and heartburn.
Stick to Your Routine
Fine tune your “internal clock” by keeping a consistent sleep schedule. Dozing off at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning helps your body adjust and prepare for sleep at the right time.
Avoid the urge to stay up way too late and sleep in too much on the weekends. It can make it hard to be active with the kids difficult to get back to your routine during the week.
Life gets busy for everyone — but remember that to take care of others, you must take care of yourself. Getting a good night sleep is linked to better psychological well-being and worth investing in.
Give these tips a whirl to improve your sleep, decrease stress and enhance your mom-abilities!