Something synonymous with motherhood is lack of sleep. For this edition of Just for Mom we’re talking about prioritizing your sleep.While taking care of your children and balancing work responsibilities are important, so is sleep. When you get enough sleep, you will be able to fulfill your responsibilities more easily, as well as feeling more patient and positive about parenthood. We’ve gathered a few tips and strategies parents can use to help make your sleep a priority! Whether you’re a new parent or an old pro, we’re confident there is a tip in here to help you get a good night's sleep!
image: sleep foundation
Have Good Sleep Hygiene
Good sleep hygiene are the sleep habits you use to help you get a good night’s sleep. Many of these habits can help improve your sleep health. These habits include:
- Avoid caffeine too late in the day
- No electronics before bed
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule
- Create a consistent bedtime routine
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, relaxing, and a comfortable temperature
Pick one or two of these and test them out, give them time to show their results.
image: help guide
Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep, for yourself, is easy to put off. However, getting a goodnight’s sleep can help you feel more refreshed, causing you to be more productive. Make a conscious effort to find out what time you need to wake up in the mornings, set a bedtime alarm 30-45 minutes prior to when you actually need to be in bed to get the rest your mind and body require.
image: health line
Set up a Consistent Sleep Routine
This tip isn’t just about setting up a consistent sleep routine for your children, but for yourself as well! Having a consistent sleep routine is one of the best ways to get high quality sleep. Setting up a consistent sleep routine will allow your body to wake in the morning easier and fall asleep and stay asleep much more consistently. Another important aspect of a consistent sleep routine is continuing to follow your routine on days off. It can be counterproductive to use the weekend to “catch up” on sleep. Instead, keep to your sleep routine, and you’ll find you’re getting a higher quality of sleep.
Limit Blue Light Exposure at Night
Blue light stimulates your brain and helps your body know when it is daytime. Screens, smartphones, computers, and tablets all give off blue light, which isn’t an issue in the day but at night it sends your body mixed signals. However, too much blue light can fool your body into thinking it’s daytime, keeping you awake when you should be sleeping. It has been recommended to avoid blue light 2-3 hours before bed, or using blue-blocking glasses.
Keep Screens Out of Your Bedroom
Keeping screens out of your bedroom can go hand-in-hand with avoiding blue light before bed. A large part of having good sleep hygiene is allowing yourself time to unwind before falling asleep. Having screens present, or in use, in your room will not give you the opportunity to unwind, and can lead into staying up much later than you anticipated. Going online for a few minutes can quickly turn into an hour or more.
image: diana kerr
Go to Bed While You're Ahead
We’re all guilty of staying up ‘just a little bit longer’ to tie up loose ends. Not only are you more likely to lose track of time and stay up much later than planned, you’re also more likely to make mistakes or be inefficient. Try sticking to your bedtime and go back to your task or chore the next day when you’re refreshed, clear headed, and quicker on your feet.
If there’s one thing we know about motherhood, it’s that it comes with a lack of sleep! But that doesn’t mean you can’t implement habits and attempt to set yourself up to have a good night’s sleep. Work to develop healthy sleep habits with your children, so you can get the benefit of your children getting a good night's sleep as well as yourself. As a parent, even a human, it’s inevitable that you’ll have nights of poor sleep. Don’t let that deter you.