How to Sleep Better: Tips & Tricks For Good Rest
Mom, you deserve more rest. You sacrifice so much of yourself to make sure everything is taken care of for everyone around you… but what about you? Even though we know rest is essential for our health and well-being, sometimes we feel guilty for sleeping or napping when we “could be spending more time with the family.” There are always more dishes to wash, more activities to schedule and more planning for tomorrow (and next week!) In spite of how busy life can get, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can be more rested, especially if you try some of the following tips.
6 Essential Sleep Tips For Mom
- Invest in cozy loungewear. Feeling comfortable and relaxed will help you transition into sleep more easily.
- Set up a nighttime routine. Doing the same thing every evening will signal your body that it’s time to go to sleep.
- Don’t stay up too late! Get in bed early to wind down instead of collapsing into it.
- Focus on resting your body. Being horizontal and in the dark helps, even if you simply rest.
- Practice deep breathing. Add meditation and progressive muscle relaxation to get centered and calm.
- Leave your electronic devices in another room. Better to get an alarm clock, a small lamp and a book to read, instead.
Why sleep matters
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), 67% of women suffer symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights a month. The negative effects of too little sleep aren’t just physical — they can also interfere with your mental health. Prioritizing healthy sleep can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being, as well as your family’s. Getting the right amount of sleep for your mind and body helps you feel energized, mentally alert, and ready to tackle the day.
How to get more sleep
The NSF recommends five things to focus on in order to get a good night’s sleep: structure, light, electronics, exercise and prioritizing rest. If you need extra assistance getting to sleep, incorporate as many sleep tips and accessories as possible that could help you drift off to dreamland. Being mindful of your daily routine and bedtime habits will put you on the right path toward sounder sleep.
Establish a structured bedtime routine
Reserve about an hour before bed to wind down for the night. Always try to get into bed at the same time to allow your body to settle into a regular sleep-wake schedule.
First, journal about whatever you’re concerned about or need to deal with tomorrow so you can release those stressors from your mind. Then, put together a bedtime ritual that includes things you’ll look forward to, like cozy slippers, taking a warm bath with Epsom salts or bath bombs, putting on comfy pajamas or a cozy robe, following a skincare routine with a facial massager or enjoying a cup of chamomile tea. Time your routine so that you can still get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
Spend time in natural light during the day
Whether outdoors or inside, natural daylight helps you feel alert. The circadian rhythm process is strongly influenced by light, running on a 24-hour cycle where we feel most awake during the day and sleepiest at night. If you’re able to get some sunlight during the day, it helps keep your system on track. If not, some people add melatonin supplements to their nighttime routine, to spark the hormone that lulls us into sleep.
Eliminate electronics and other sources of light in the bedroom
Many of us stare at our phones before going to bed. Not only are they a distraction, but researchers found that the blue light from screens affects your body’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps you feel sleepy. Leave your phone or electronics in another room. Use an old-school alarm clock instead, and if you need some low-key entertainment prior to nodding off, keep a small book light and books on your nightstand. To block out light from outside, you may need to install blackout curtains to make sure your body is primed to sleep soundly. For an easy way to block out light, add a sleep mask to your nighttime attire.
Create a calm, cool sleep environment
Your body temperature drops a couple of degrees at night, and that cooldown is part of what tells your system that it’s time to sleep. Set your thermostat between 60 and 67 °F at night to encourage deeper rest. There are sleep accessories that can help create a tranquil environment in your bedroom such candles, massagers, and aromatherapy. If you’re having trouble winding down after your day, try putting an essential oil like lavender in a diffuser near your bed; the scent is a natural remedy for insomnia. A Himalayan salt lamp may provide a therapeutic natural glow to your living space and encourage a sense of tranquility before bed. Some people may also find a white noise machine helpful to block out noise. Add indoor plants to clean the air and lend a sense of natural tranquility to your peaceful bedroom oasis.
Keep the focus of your bedroom simple
Try to keep your work (including housework) out of your bedroom. Focus on sleep and intimacy exclusively. If you have to keep your desk or laptop in there, put up a divider or curtain if possible, to delineate between your day and night priorities. Take a look at what’s in the room and edit it down to the basics. An uncluttered, clean and inviting bedroom will be less likely to distract you.
Set your sleep up for success
The things we do during the day can come back to haunt us at night — that last cup of coffee at 3pm might seem essential, but it can make sleeping difficult later. Alcohol might send you off to dreamland faster, but it negatively affects the quality of your sleep. Exercising — even a walk around the block — during the day can help you sleep more soundly at night, but vigorous exercise later on may keep you too buzzed to wind down. If you’re having trouble sleeping in bed, focus on breathing, resting your body and staying horizontal. It’s best not to look at your clock. A daybreak or dawn clock may be useful as it slowly brightens up in the morning, which is less harsh than a regular alarm clock.
Mental exercises to help you fall asleep
Once you get into bed, practice mental exercises, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. Mental exercises, like counting backwards from 100, can help you think about something else besides your ever-growing to-do list. Meditation can help to relieve insomnia and enhance REM sleep, the sleep state which increases brain activity and consolidates memories. Progressive muscle relaxation, a technique used to control stress and insomnia, involves tightening muscles as you breathe in and relaxing them as you breathe out, from your head to your toes.
Upgrade your bedding to reach your snooze goals
Create a sleep-friendly bedroom environment by upgrading your bedding. Cozy sheets, a supportive mattress and a comforter that feels like a cloud — all these things make a huge difference when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. About once or twice a month, wash your bedding. Open a window to let sunlight and fresh air in to avoid sinus and allergy issues, which can greatly disrupt sleep.
There’s nothing like waking up refreshed after sleeping, and it only takes a few simple lifestyle changes to get you closer to your snooze goals. Spending timing in natural light, getting exercise, upgrading your bedding and establishing a nightly routine can help to promote healthy sleep.
Good night, and sweet dreams, Mom. You deserve it!
MOM, YOU DESERVE MORE REST
Zulily has everything you need to catch up on your zzz’s.