Are you always wondering if getting better sleep is possible? From taking care of unpredictable children to juggling household chores, a mum’s job isn’t an effortless one. When sleep beckons, there’s always that pervading worry that your baby could wake up and start crying any minute.
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And still, even if your baby has outgrown their crying bouts—there may be internal reasons as to why you can’t sleep as easily as you want to, from sleep apnea to general insomnia.
If you find yourself tossing and turning every night without a wink of sleep, the effects of it will last the next day. Irritation and moodiness will set in, making all the motherly obligations a bit harder to bear.
Let’s be real, none of us wants that. Mothers, here are five simple ways you can get the quality shut-eye you deserve.
5 things to try for getting better sleep
1. Dim Your Lights An Hour Before Bedtime
If you find yourself having your lights on before bed, try dimming them to signal your brain and body that it’s time for bed.
When in darkness, our skin secretes melatonin, a hormone that helps signal the body to wind down for bed.
On the flip side, turning out bright lights can have the opposite effect, effectively stopping the body from producing enough of this key sleep hormone.
The solution is simple: lower or completely turn off the brightness of your room lights whenever you’re about to head to bed. This way, your body will boost its melatonin production, thereby giving you the nudge you need to sleep more soundly.
2. Reducing Your Screen Time Is Vital For Getting Better Sleep
In the same vein as the last tip, reducing your screen time before bed can also help you get better sleep.
It’s so easy to get hooked on social media apps and online shows, and before you know it, it could be well into the wee morning hours and you’re still scrolling down your news feed.
But that’s not the worst of it. Even if you decide to wind down for the night at an earlier time, the artificial blue light emitting from the screen tricks the brain into believing that it’s daytime. This, in turn, slows down the production of the sleep hormone.
The best way to combat this is to stop using phones and computers at least an hour before bedtime. And if you’re tied to work or other obligations in the late night hours, you can alternatively use blue light filter apps to prevent straining your eyes.
3. Avoid Caffeine in the Afternoon
A lot of mums can’t live without a cup of brewed coffee (or three) every day. If you’re a part of this club, it’s important to limit your coffee intake before bed, especially in the afternoon.
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a fast-acting chemical that blocks the brain’s sleep-producing adenosine receptors. If taken less than 6 hours before bed, especially in copious amounts, your body could still have caffeine coursing through its system when you’re trying to fall asleep in bed.
You don’t have to quit drinking coffee cold turkey. But if you’re facing sleeplessness and often drink coffee in the mid to late afternoon, the simple yet effective solution is to stop drinking coffee during these vital hours. Before you know it, your body can adjust accordingly and you’ll feel more likely to doze off in the times that matter.
4. Get Checked for Sleep Apnea
While many mums can attribute their lack of sleeplessness to a coffee binge or harsh lighting before bed, some could actually be suffering from an underlying health condition.
One of the most common sleep disorders is called sleep apnea, a health condition wherein a person’s breathing stops recurring due to the collapsing of throat muscles during sleep.
The worst thing about sleep apnea is that you can technically achieve a full 8 hours of sleep, but still feel extremely lethargic the day after. This is usually because the quality of sleep is compromised due to the many waking episodes one can face throughout the night, regardless of whether the sleeper is conscious or unconscious about it.
Sleep apnea is a serious and widespread condition, but it’s treatable. There are many sleeping assistance tools like CPAP machines and accessories from CPAP Direct that can help you restore your sleep cycle and get the restful nights you deserve.
5. Exercise During the Day
While this may be difficult to squeeze into your busy schedule, the fact of the matter is that exercise is filled with an explosive list of benefits. From toning your body to helping you lose weight, getting your body active can be a great way to keep you looking like a showstopper in every room you enter.
But the physical changes aren’t the only benefit you can reap from stepping on that treadmill. Exercise can be a great aid in helping you to fall asleep, as the body’s internal temperature gradually lowers after hitting its peak during exercise. Once the body loses enough heat, melatonin production rises and creates the ideal condition for slumber.
If you’re wondering what type of exercises are most effective for better quality sleep, cardiovascular activities like running, jogging, cycling, and swimming are the most recommended. Getting at least 150 accumulated minutes of moderate exercise per week can already lead to results, so just be consistent and you’ll achieve good sleep in no time!
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