If I had a dollar for every meme or joke on social media regarding sleep deprivation and motherhood, I could retire and move permanently to a villa on the French Riviera. Sleep is gold, and becoming a mom only increases its value. Add a full-time job and 16 college credits to that and horizontal unconscious time becomes priceless.
For me sleep isn’t a luxury. It’s as vital to my body as air, food, and water. In order for me to survive being a full-time, work-at-home mom, full-time student, and part-time writer, I need my sleep. This is not something I will compromise on, as I wrote about here.
So how do I make sure I get enough sleep? First of all, I am no sleep expert, but I’ve learned many better sleep tips as sleep and I have had a tumultuous relationship my entire life. Since becoming a mom, it’s only gotten worse. Most of the time I get about six hours at night, and when I can’t even get those, I make sure I rest, even if it’s for 15 minutes here and there. I also nap on the weekend with my daughter.
Right now my schedule is a bit on the crazy side. For some people, 6-7 hours of sleep might seem like a lot, while others it’s too little. But let me tell you, I fight for EVERY SINGLE MINUTE that I can get. It’s my #1 self-care gift to myself. I will choose sleep over a shower (depending on how badly I stink), and it’s more important than watching my favorite TV show or surfing social media. If I don’t make sleep a priority, depression comes knocking and things get ugly really fast.
So how do I make sure I sleep during the allotted times? With these better sleep tips:
- Ashwaganda Root
You can find this at any natural food store. It’s an ancient Ayurvedic herb that supports your adrenal glands and lowers your stress. You can read more about it here.
This is a hormone your body produces when you go to sleep before midnight. It helps you process the day’s events, restores your body, and even boosts your immunity. An inhibitor of melatonin production is harsh lighting after dark, for example, technology screens. In this day and age it’s hard to avoid technology and our smart phones, but taking a supplement can help signal your brain to power down and go to sleep. Which is something this mama struggles with big time.
- Green Juice
I recently discovered green juice after purchasing Crazy Sexy Juice by Kris Carr, a cancer survivor and wellness advocate. I’d tried green juice before and wasn’t a fan, but Kris’ recipes ROCK. Why green juice? Dark leafy greens have potassium and magnesium, both of which help with better sleep. I found if I drink a cup of green juice 3-4 times a week, I sleep so well and wake up refreshed, even if I only slept for a few hours. I also tend to have more energy during the day, which means I don’t have to rely on caffeine as much.
- Sleepy Time Tea
The name says it all!
- Relaxing Yoga
You probably already know where I stand when it comes to yoga.
- Bedtime Meditation & Deep Breathing Exercise
Another stress buster I wrote about here.
- Reading Something Calming and Uplifting
Not fiction, because that only makes it too hard to put the book down until I’ve read the last page. (No sleep!) Try self-help or inspirational instead.
- A Hot Bath with Lavender Essential Oil
This is my go-to for stress management, and lavender is my magic elixir! Run a bath, adding 4-8 drops of lavender oil or bath salts. In just 15 minutes I’m falling asleep in the tub.
- Listening to Nature Sounds or Music
When I can’t get my brain to turn off, listening to nature sounds really helps lull my mind into a sweet slumber. Think white noise for infants. It works the same for sleepy mamas!
These are just a few tools in my arsenal against the sleep demons. What about you? Do you have any cool sleep tips? I would love to hear them in the comments below!
For other, great stress-reducing tips for moms, check out the rest of the posts in Mel’s Stress Buster Series