Work demands ✅
Taking care of all the kids needs ✅
Getting in that Peleton ride or early morning run ✅
Sleeping 8 hours a night?? Ummmm….I don’t have time!
This is a topic on self-care that is always on my mind. Mostly because I’m a busy, working mom and I GET IT! I struggled with insomnia and the effects of lacking sleep for many years. And because I have so many clients, family and friends who are struggling with this too, I feel it’s super important to address.
But first, let’s delve into WHY we need sleep-
Sleep is an integral process in the body. It:
- AIDS in cognitive functions
- Regulates emotions
- Boosts immunity
- Balances metabolism
- Balances hormones
- Regulates blood sugar and blood pressure
- Combats fatigue
- Suppresses cancer cell growth
Lack of sleep has been connected to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, depression and cancer.
Now, before we start getting worried about what our late night work emails or Netflix binges might be doing to our bodies, let’s just take this one step at a time. Like any other sustainable lifestyle change, your not going to drastically improve your sleep overnight. It’s a process and grant yourself the patience and room to make it a process. Pick 1-2 changes from the lost below to implement each week, and add on only when one habit has become more automatic:
Lifestyle modifications to improve sleep:
- Find 1-2 pockets of your day to meditate. It can be for five minutes at a time, but make sure you make room in your schedule to do this consistently.
- Exercise daily! This can be a traditional workout, yoga or a walk. But daily movement is essential.
- Keep your sleep and wake times consistent, even on the weekends. (Easy if you have two young kids like me. But important for all of us).
- Remove those LED lamps, laptops and televisions from your bedroom. (When we moved from our apartment to our house five years ago, we moved the tv from our bedroom to the family room. I swear to you that was the start of my improved sleep patterns!)
- Always sleep in your bed. Not the couch as your watching tv late at night. And hopefully not on your kids floor as I find myself doing some nights…
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom around 65 degrees.
- Don’t hit the snooze button!! I mean, I always New this, but recent research taught me this new fact…”Jolting” awake multiple times a morning affects the cardiovascular and nervous system. Yikes.
- Eat a primarily plant bases diet (yet another point for plant based!!)
- Don’t shoot the messenger for this one- try to stick to one caffeinated drink per day, and finish it entirely 10 hours before bed.
- Be mindful while eating (another tough one for us moms, amiright?!? I mean, when was the last time I ate my food warm and didn’t get up at least ten times per meal to fill cups, clean spills cut food or quickly stop the baby from dumping her entire plate on the floor??)
- See what I mean…I’m not gonna implement all of these strategies overnight and either are you. But I will keep adding no a few at a time and I’ll get there.
This week, I’ve been working on:
- Not hitting snooze! I was so good about this pre-pandemic, but anxiety and stress made it hard to have my usual morning energy. But honestly, it’s been feeling SO good to get up early, before the rest of the house.
- Stop drinking coffee by noon. This has been easier than I thought… I’ve been sipping on cold brew hibiscus tea all afternoon instead of another cup of coffee and I love it.
- Daily meditation-twice a day when possible.
- Hope this article gave your all some good tips. Remember that all that other self-care stuff doesn’t work if you’re not getting enough quality sleep.
Tell us, what tips will you be trying this week…
(And here’s the cutest reason I didn’t sleep for eight months this year…)