It may be challenging to keep a consistent sleep schedule as a mum, and it’s more than understandable. Your kids need special attention, and it’s normal for you to keep an eye on them constantly. But, more often than not, you forget about yourself.
Whether your children are newborns or toddlers, you still need to pay attention to their needs during the night. At first, it seemed like just two or three hours less than the average sleep hours, but in time this transformed into more and more tiredness during the day. Poor sleep is strongly related to a well-functioning immune system, the level of energy in your body, good mental health, and many more, so if until now, you didn’t pay so much attention to the way you rest, now more than ever it’s time to do so. And the fact that you have children shouldn’t be an obstacle – at least, not anymore.
Tossing and turning at 3 a.m. can be forgotten – you can have control over the way you sleep and how much you sleep. So, you should by no means get discouraged. Read this article to find ways to get better sleep at night, and then start with baby steps and implement these simple yet effective methods.
Create a relaxing bedroom environment
This may sound impossible, especially when your children sleep in the same room. But learn that you can create a peaceful bedroom environment even in these circumstances. Everything related to light, noise, high temperature, or bedding can interfere with your sleep. So, this is what you should start with. Try as much as possible to set a soothing temperature: this is not only good for kids but also for adults. We know there’s a strong tendency to set the thermostat to a higher temperature, especially on those cold winter nights. Still, the optimal sleeping temperature is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius), which is not too hot, not too cold. But do you know why this is considered ideal for sleep? Because your body’s temperature starts to fall as bedtime approaches – it fluctuates by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (-16.6 degrees Celsius). This is due to the melatonin release, commonly known as the sleep hormone.
On the other hand, noise may not be something that can be avoided, mainly if you live in a noisy area, but there are solutions to limit its effects on your night time rest. You can opt for some headphones or earplugs, but make sure it’s not a problem for your children. If they need you throughout the night, it’s essential to be on duty.
Pay attention to bedding
Don’t also forget to invest in a high-quality mattress and bedding – these are crucial when it comes to restful sleep. So, be careful when choosing your next mattress because it has to be supportive enough and keep your body in a good posture during sleep. Generally, your spine has to be slightly curved, while other body parts must be perfectly aligned, such as the head, arms, and shoulders. That being said, a quality mattress should be neither too soft nor too firm. Bedding (bed sheets, pillows, blankets, etc.), in an equal manner, has to be made from quality, breathable fabrics, like cotton or linen, to ensure restful, comfortable sleep during the night. Synthetic materials like polyester only irritate your skin and make you sweat, toss and turn at night.
You also need to choose your sleepwear carefully. Like bedding, the clothes you’re sleeping in can influence how you rest. That’s why it’s highly advisable to opt for natural fabrics (linen, cotton, and even wool) that are breathable and friendly to your skin. So, if pyjamas didn’t play a significant role in your bedtime routine until now, it’s time to make a change and look for comfortable pyjamas and sleepwear. With the rise of remote work, pyjamas have become a trend, being manufactured in various models and colours, so it shouldn’t be too hard to choose mens loungewear and pyjamas that best suit your style and needs.
Sleep when your baby sleeps
It might be tempting to do chores once your baby is asleep, but this will only make you more tired. We know that, apart from taking care of your child, you need to take care of the house. Everything from washing the dishes, cleaning floors, or doing laundry can wait until the other parent or someone else can look after your kids. While the baby is sleeping, you should also snooze. If you want, you can take it as a rule, but you should pay attention to your sleep hygiene, too, not only that of your child.
Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine
Mummies should have time for themselves, too, no matter how many activities they need to perform. One thing is well-known: the stress hormone cortisol has to decrease as bedtime approaches. So, one way to de-stress is to create a soothing pre-sleep routine. It may be everything that makes you relax and induce calm, such as a salt bath, pampering with some skincare products, exfoliating your body skin with scrubs, or deeply nourishing it with essential oils or butte balms. Avoid taking your day-to-day problems to bed and consider adopting a relaxing routine before sleep. It doesn’t have to be something extra, but just a little pampering. Candles are also an excellent way to boost mood and relax due to their therapeutic scents. Aromas such as lavender, chamomile, jasmine, and sandalwood are well-known for their calming, sleep-inducing effects, so don’t hesitate to turn to aromatherapy whenever you want to unwind.
Other recommendations for better sleep include:
- turn off electronic devices: try to turn off your phone or tablet at least one hour before sleep to avoid insomnia. Now that your kids are asleep, it may be the only time you can scroll quietly on social media, but however tempting, try as much as possible to limit the use of technology before bed.
- increase bright light exposure during the day
- reduce light exposure in the evening
- exercise: don’t think that you have to be involved in some strenuous exercise – there are light exercises that everyone can practise at home, such as arm circles, squats, reverse-lunge front kicks, and so on.