Being a working mom requires a delicate balance of parenting skills, professional expertise, and sleep. While the first two ingredients are down to you, mostly, the third item on that list – sleep – can be a little out of reach at times, due to a number of circumstances.
No two people’s experience of being a working mom are exactly the same, and there will be a myriad of factors affecting the quality of sleep that you get. These ten tips, however, can contribute to a better night’s sleep in the right circumstances.
Switch off screens at least an hour before bedtime
Screen time just before we try to get to sleep has a detrimental impact on us achieving our ambition. The screen over stimulates our eyes and our brains, and from there it takes a considerable amount of time for us to arrive at a suitable level of relaxation to sleep. Just switch off those screens with plenty of time to spare before you go to sleep, and enjoy another activity such as reading before you shut your eyes.
Develop a bedtime routine
We take care in creating a regular bedtime routine for the kids as this helps in getting them to sleep at a particular time every night, but what about ourselves? Just because we are older it doesn’t mean that we don’t benefit from routines too, so employ regular rituals which get you in the mid-frame for a good night’s rest.
If you have really young children who you know will wake up in the middle of the night, take it in turns with your partner to take responsibility to wake up. The biggest mistake you can make is to both be woken night after night. One bad night’s sleep will affect you, but not too detrimentally. A couple of bad night’s sleep in a row will really start to make an impact, so have a system whereby at least one of you is getting a proper night’s sleep every night.
Limit stimulants before bed
Caffeine isn’t recommended in the couple of hours leading up to going to bed. In fact, many people don’t consume coffee any time after lunch. Plus, drinking liquids near bedtime will result in you needing to get up in the middle of the night.
If you wake, don’t stress
Waking up in the middle of the night, even if it’s by your own accord, is no reason to get stressed. Lying there and looking at the clock, calculating how many minutes you have until you get up is a detrimental activity too. Accept that you have woken, and try reading to relax your mind. Don’t get stressed.
Go to bed early enough
Seven hours is the minimum amount of sleep recommended to fully rest our bodies and minds. Make sure that you go to bed early enough to guarantee that amount.
Get suitable bedding
Find a mattress, pillow and duvet that maximizes your level of comfort. Often, it’s a case of trial and error, but don’t just accept what you have, and seek alternatives.
Set the temperature just right
Different people prefer different temperature levels in the room at night. This may be a cause of some debate with your partner too, who may prefer having a window open. Finding a compromise in such situations is important, and although it’s not recommended over longer periods, sleeping in separate rooms from time to time may help with your quality of sleep, allowing you to set the temperature as you please.
Make sure you get enough exercise
A tired mind but a body that hasn’t received the same levels of stimulation and workout is not a conducive condition to a good night’s sleep. Make sure that you take enough exercise during the day to balance out your tiredness evenly by night-time.
Laying down to go to sleep with a mind that is full of worries will not bring on sleep. Although saying ‘don’t worry’ is easier said than done, try to help yourself by doing yoga or Pilates, meditating, listening to some soft music, reading or any other number of activities which contribute to a healthier state of mind.
Adding up these factors as necessary should see you start improving the quality of your sleep, as well as the quality. Obviously, with small people in the house, things can get a little unpredictable at night, but help yourself by adding this healthy rituals into your bedtime routine.