An apple a day and a good night's sleep may be great medical advice, but most of us don't get enough sleep and we've known this for years. Yet few moms actually make those eight or nine hours between the sheets a priority.
Long hours and late nights generally come with the territory when you're a mom. Working full time and taking care of a home, family and pets can be exhausting, to say the least.
The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort.
Here are six smart tips to improve your slumber and gain control of your life.
1. Establish a bedtime ritual.
Give yourself time to wind down and try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night. If you read, grab a book from your bookshelf. Light-emitting ereaders may interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
2. Don't watch TV or work on your computer just before bedtime.
The artificial light suppresses the chemicals in your brain that promote sleep. Most affected is melatonin, a regulating hormone that determines your sleep cycle.
3. Don't eat a big meal just before bedtime.
Consuming acidic foods just before bed can cause heartburn. Caffeine, consumed late in the day, is a major contributor to insomnia.
4. Keep the room cool and turn off any bright lights.
If your bedroom is too hot or too cold, you won't be able to get comfortable and nod off to sleep. Aim to maintain a temperature of somewhere around 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius) in your bedroom for optimal rest.
5. Incorporate calming activities into your bedtime routine.
Take a bubble bath or hot shower, light a candle, read or sit quietly before you retire for the evening. Incorporate some "me time" into your day. These activities help your brain quell those racing thoughts. If you want to exercise, opt for yoga or light stretching.
6. Avoid alcohol.
Avoid alcohol for several hours before putting your head on that pillow; it may make you want to sleep, but you might wake up in short order and have trouble nodding off again.
Even a little additional sleep can help improve your performance at work, provide a better sense of overall well-being and give you more enthusiasm for almost everything you do.