If you stick around this blog long enough, you notice that I have slight obsession with sleep. Maybe it’s because I’m a tired mom. Maybe it’s because I know it’s a small way I can take better care of myself in the long run. Sleep is a fascinating subject. And we all love sleep! We want to sleep. We want our kids to sleep. Everyone just go to sleep.
But today is about you—the tired mom. How can you get better sleep and feel more rested in a shorter period of time? So with all my sleep obsession research, today I’m going to share with you 10 ways you can start getting better quality sleep than you ever did before, and stop feeling like a tired mom.
Get in the 90 minute mindset.
One of the most interesting things about infant sleep is that they sleep in 45 minute sleep cycles. So if you baby wakes up after sleeping only 45 minutes, it means they probably accidentally woke up while transitioning from one sleep cycle to the next.
Adults on the other hand, sleep in 90 minute sleep cycles. Therefore, you want to sleep either 6 hours, 7.5 hours or 9 hours per night. You don’t want to go to bed and set your alarm for 6.5 hours later. You will wake up from a deep sleep…groggy and so tired. Set your alarm for a half hour before that, and you will wake up from light sleep…refreshed and ready to go.
Get the Sleep Cycle app.
This is genius, I tell you! The Sleep Cycle app for iPhone (sorry android users) analyzes your sleep and wakes you up in your lightest sleep phase. This goes hand-in-hand with what I just mentioned about the 90 minute sleep cycles. Except this app, actually does all the timing for you! No need to count hours or sleep cycles to predict your optimal wake up time. People swear by this thing, and for 99 cents, I would say it’s worth it.
Introduce essential oils to your sleep routine.
Okay. So we’ve talked about how long you should sleep at night, but you might be wondering how you can support a great night’s rest. Essential oils are amazing for supporting healthy sleep, and the best part is that they are totally natural.
There are of course thousands of different uses for essential oils (yes, thousands) but sleep is one area they are great for! My personal sleep favorites? Lavender, Peace and Calming blend, and Cedarwood. Rub 1-2 drops each on the bottoms of the feet before bed and you are GOLDEN.
Take the ultimate power nap.
Ready to take the ultimate tired mom power nap and really get some stuff done? Down a cup of coffee. Then immediately lay down and close your eyes. Caffeine takes about 15-20 minutes to kick in, and when it does, you will wake up from your nap totally refreshed.
This won’t work if you sip the coffee because the caffeine will kick in before you go to sleep. Let it cool off for a few minutes so you can drink it within a minute or two. Lay down immediately after drinking it.
Stop all caffeine after this.
I love coffee, but if you drink it too late in the day, it will keep you from getting quality sleep at night. No caffeine after 2 pm. So take your ultimate power nap before then!
Skip the screen time.
You may love to watch TV or surf the web as part of your wind down routine, but this can actually prevent you from resting well at night because it messes with you melatonin (aka the sleepy hormone). Skip the screen time and opt to read in bed instead.
Make a list.
One of the reasons you might not get restful sleep at night is you have way too much on your mind. This is such a common problem, especially among parents. Put your mind at ease by making a list of all the problems or things that you need to get done. Then below each problem write how you are going to solve it.
Having a plan of action, regardless of how simple, can help you feel at ease and allow your brain to relax better.
Put something on your feet.
I’m a cold-natured person, and my husband is always yelling at my about why I insist on wearing socks to bed. Well…research shows that cold feet are strongly linked to disrupted night time sleep. So if you are cold-natured like me, then putting socks on at night can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.
Set consistent sleep times.
Going to sleep at approximately the same time and waking up at approximately the same time each day can make a huge impact on the quality of sleep. The more consistent you are with your own sleep times, the more consistently your body produces sleep hormones (e.g. melatonin).
If you stay up past your normal bedtime, your body actually starts to produce stress hormones to help keep you awake. This can make it much harder to fall asleep if you stay asleep past your normal bedtime or if you frequently fluctuate your bedtime.
A little humming goes a long way.
Not humming as in signing. Humming as in white noise. I’ll admit it’s slightly addicting to use white noise. It can make sleep challenging when you don’t have it, but the gentle humming of a fan or noise machine can help you stay asleep when noises outside would otherwise wake you up.
You may also enjoy the Sleep Sounds app to use as white noise. It’s another awesome app for the iPhone, and it will send you into dreamland with hundreds of soothing sounds, gentle lullabies, and hours of relaxing music.
The last app you might want to try is the Deep Sleep app. This app uses meditation to take you on a journey to a more peaceful place, and leaves you deeply relaxed. The genius behind this app is highly acclaimed hypnotherapist Andrew Johnson.
With all this sleep talk, I think I’m ready for a nap.
Want more on sleep and motherhood?
- The Key to Creating a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom Schedule
- Why Every Great Mom Fills Her Cup First
- Why Moms Need Routines Just as Much as Kids Do
What’s your best sleep hack for the tired mom? Let’s chat in the comments!
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