Have you said “bye bye” to sleeping through the night?
Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?
Do not fear, I have some great tips for you!
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.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend 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.
Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program? (Gasp!)
OMG – What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
Knowing this it’s easy to see the three main purposes of 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, technically known as “synaptic plasticity”.
- To conserve some energy so we’re not just actively “out and about” 24-hours a day, every day.
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. For real!
Try not to skimp!
(Don’t worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)
Now, I know, if you are a sleep deprived mama in her first year or 2 or three….postpartum, you babe(s) may not be letting you get the sleep that you want and need. I hear you, I see you, and I know it may feel like you will never have the opportunity to sleep through the night again.
First off, let me reassure you. You will. Early motherhood is a season of life that is known for its lack of sleep. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Second, because your sleep can be unpredictable during this season of life it is even more important to implement these sleep tips to maximize your health and ability to sleep.
With that being said, let’s dive into some simple tips to start getting some better sleep.
Tips for better sleep
- The biggest tip is definitely to try to get yourself into 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. Seven. Days. A. Week. 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 (full of blood-sugar-balancing fiber). Choose the whole orange instead of the juice (or orange-flavored snack). Make sure you’re getting some protein every time you eat.
- 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.
- Cut off your caffeine and added sugar intake after 12pm. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are fine, it’s the “added” sugar we’re minimizing. Yes, this includes your beloved chai latte. Both caffeine and added sugar can keep your mind a bit more active than you want it to be come evening. (HINT: I will be sharing a great caffeine-free chai latte recipe with you later this week!).
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 – 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time and perhaps reading an (actual, not “e”) book or having a bath.
Even if your sleep is stinterruptedpted by your child(ren), these tips can help you to improve the quality of your sleep. Which will help you to feel more rested and get the most out of the time that you do get in bed.
Do you think that, even as a busy mama with some unpredictable sleep patterns, you can implement 1 or 2 of these tips? Comment below or find me over on Insta @coach_margaret_achu and let me know what you think!