In the early months of motherhood, mums pour over books to tell you how to make your child sleep.
You study routines, strategies, some work and some really don’t.
During this time become more and more sleep-deprived and suddenly realise the value of a good night when it’s too late. (crying into the pillow) My big sister once said “when you wake up and feel as though you are walking through mud with heavy fog overhead you know you’ve become a mum” Thanks Collette, she was right though.
That is unless you had a unicorn baby that sleeps, we won’t mention those.
Here we are considering all the wonderful things to send babies to sleep but who considers the mum and her sleep routine?
Over the past few years and being a working parent, I have realised the value of getting a good night’s sleep, but also the importance of a solid sleep routine. At times I find I rebel against it, that quiet time when the little darling is finally in bed and that no one needs me. That does sometimes lull me into that temptation to stay up later and later.
However, I have found some techniques for sleep that can help you feel better in the day, they will also have a positive knock-on effect on other daily habits and choices throughout the day. For example, you are less likely to crave food for quick energy or feel irritable when your child asks the same question again for the hundredth time.
These are my top sleep tips:
1. Sleep at the same time every night, especially during a working week.
Find your optimal amount of hours for sleep, we are all individual and it varies between 5-10 hours for some. Download my Sleep Tracker and keep a record over a month to evaluate how many hours feels right for you.
2. Wake up at the same time in the mornings, even try at the weekends because having that routine helps your body to get into that rhythm of sleep.
Obviously, at the weekends, this changes a little bit if you end up staying up to watch Netflix or have a glass of wine and that’s ok.
3. If you can’t sleep early every night try just one night a week.
4. Create a bedtime routine.
This is something you can do every night, simple practises that can improve your mood and help you wind down. Some suggestions;
- Dimming your lights or use some fairy lights
- Burn a candle
- Face moisturiser (keep it by your bed)
- Hand cream
- Foot cream and socks
- Lie on a Shakti Mat
- Sit and meditate
- Read a book
5. Put your phone away, set a bedtime timer so that the phone dims and encourages you to switch off.
6. Nice, quality sleepwear and nice bedsheets can make a real difference as well, make sure that you feel that you are like treating yourself to a nice night’s sleep.
7. Don’t eat or drink two hours before bed if you can because that is giving your body time to digest food, if you need to sit up in bed to aid digestion.
8. Take a snack box to bed for the little ones when they wake up at the weekend so you can get a precious few more minutes.
9. No work in bed!
10. Use an (old fashioned) alarm clock to not be woken up by your phone.
Breathing Exercises to try;
Breath deeply into your stomach, back and ribs.
Focus on lengthening the breath by counting and using the same number for inhale and exhale.
Focus on Square breathing (4 parts): Breath in, Pause, Breath out, Pause.
Hand on your chest and hand on your stomach. Breath into chest, then stomach, out through stomach and then chest (4 parts)
Before you sleep…
Consider something you are grateful for that day.
Sleep is vital for your health alongside eating well and moving your body, you need to feel rested and restored. Start considering and prioritising how you can get better sleep and message me with any questions or ideas.