10 tips to get you sleeping again
As tired mums ourselves, we’re all too aware of how motherhood and lack of sleep go hand in hand! So we wanted to share some top tips to help get you sleeping again.
If the kids aren’t awake, then we’re worrying about them or struggling to switch our brains off at the end of a busy day.
But it’s not just enough to get some sleep to function the next day. You need good quality sleep, something we mums are definitely lacking.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to your energy levels, lowers the risk of disease, and helps reduce stress.
Wellness expert and Naturopath Sarah McLachlan discusses various issues, including sleep, in podcasts on our Wellness app.
She explains why ensuring you’re sleeping well should be a priority in your week.
“Getting enough sleep should be integral to your health care routine, especially your mental health and well-being,” she says.
“If we’re not sleeping well, our bodies and minds can’t repair and grow the new cells we need to stay healthy.”
“Our cortisol levels, which are naturally higher during the day, would never have time to lower, thus keeping us in a permanent state of stress.”
Why you might struggle to fall asleep
There’s a reason why sleep deprivation has been utilised as a method of torture! Without sleep, we basically cannot function properly.
We’ve all had that horrible feeling, having been woken from a deep slumber with our eyes barely open. Still, our feet have already hit the ground running because we have things to do, and the day must go on.
We often end up using coffee to help us wake up because we can barely get our bodies to function, and everything feels heavy.
We reach straight for the stimulant. Many of us will never give up our coffee! And that’s okay if we’re aware of how addictive it can be and how it’s used as a crutch. It’s like a vicious cycle of chasing that first high.
But there might be other reasons why you can’t sleep well. You might be stressed, anxious, not exercising enough, not eating well or not setting yourself up for a good night’s kip.
Tips to get you sleeping again
1. Avoid eating two hours before you plan to go to sleep
Eating before bed will engage your digestive system, leading to a poorer night’s sleep.
2. Exercise at least two hours before bed
Working out increases our body’s temperature, making sleeping more difficult.
3. Cut back on caffeine and alcohol
While alcohol might help you drift off and caffeine might help you stay awake, these stimulants can profoundly affect your sleep patterns.
Alcohol and caffeine should be avoided at least three hours before sleeping.
4. Switch off devices
Turn off your television, as exposure to artificial light can disrupt your internal clock. Try reading before bed instead.
5. Have a bath
To help induce sleep hormones, have a warm bath or shower before bed.
Try relaxing music or meditation. This will help you fully relax to fall asleep quicker.
7. Get off your phone
Don’t call or text family or friends or scroll through your phone for at least an hour before bed. This can stimulate your brain, and that’s the opposite of what you want to do.
8. Set up your sleep environment
Your bedroom is purely for sleeping and lovemaking. There shouldn’t be anything else in your room.
What’s happening outside the bedroom is also of importance. Some people live near a main road and have excessive traffic noise.
9. Avoid sedatives
Your body can become reliant on them in the long run. If you require sleeping pills, keep them to a bare minimum, using them only sparingly.
10. Work on your diet
The better you eat, the better you will sleep. Any junk food will make you feel sluggish. Keep your meals clean and full of fibre, which is associated with restorative sleep.
There is also the five “R’s” of the sleeping environment
- Routine. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time. 70% of us are larks, and 30% are night owls, i.e. the larks go to bed early, wake up early and the night owls go to bed late and wake up late.
- Relaxed. Don’t go to bed stressed, e.g. following an argument.
- Reducing temperature. Sleeping in a cool room and/or having a warm shower is essential.
- Relationships. Poor relationships at either home or at work can lead to poor sleep.
- Ready. Know when your body is ready. Don’t go to sleep when you’re wide awake, as you certainly won’t be able to sleep well.
The role melatonin plays in sleep
Creativity is crucial for peace and happiness and takes many shapes and forms. All of these things create a huge difference within the body. It’s imperative to make sure that you prioritise sleep and get enough sleep regularly.
A big thing to talk about here is melatonin, its importance, and its role in the body. Then we can understand what we have to do every day to make sure that we’ve got what we need to be able to regulate that cycle as best we can.
It’s not to say we need to take it, but we need to look at the function and what we can do during the day to support it. Ultimately, melatonin is responsible for circadian rhythm.
How to get a better night’s sleep
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