When you first have children, there is no shame in admitting that the one thing that you look forward to is them sleeping through the night. Though those early days are important for bonding, I don’t know of anyone that says that they miss those night feeds. But once you get to the stage that your child is sleeping through the night, then often, you can still find yourself tossing and turning at 3 am. Not a good thing when you’ve got to survive a whole day at work, as well as getting up early with your child or children. So how can we as mums get a better night’s sleep? It is what we have been craving for such a while, right? It turns out, that there will be a number of reasons why you aren’t sleeping at your best. But the best news? They can all be dealt with. So here are some things to look out for and ways to change them.
Bright Lights In the Evening
It can be surprising to hear, but many studies have shown, that if you are surrounded by bright lights just before going to bed, then it can really disrupt your sleep. The lights stops our bodies from producing a hormone that makes us sleepy. So if you are sat with all of the lights on downstairs, as well as looking at a tablet or smartphone, then it is time to turn them off. Use a dimmer switch if you can, or look at getting lamps or side lights to reduce the brightness of the light. It will make it much easier to wind down faster.
Your Bed Is Uncomfortable
If you have a bed that is uncomfortable, then it is going to make a big difference to your sleep. If it is too hard, then you can wake up with back problems. If the bed is too soft, then it can mean that you wake up every time you roll over as you just sink into the bed. So looking at your mattress could be a good place to start. You could look at getting a Tempur memory foam mattresses if you have back or posture problems as it could help. Otherwise, look to try out a few different mattresses with different firmness to see what is the most comfortable for you.
Using Your Bed For Eating or Studying
If you use your bed for lots of things other than sleeping regularly, then it can have a detrimental effect on your sleep. If you use it as a playroom for the kids or you do work on your laptop in bed or study and read in bed, then it can cause problems. Your body will get used to doing those things, and it will associate your bed with your laptop, rather than sleeping, for example. So where you can, keep those things out of your bedroom. You want to associate your bed with sleeping to get a good night’s sleep, right?
Ah, hormones, the bane of every woman’s life! There is some truth to it, though. From pregnancy hormones to your monthly cycle hormones, they do have an effect on you. During your menstrual cycle especially, sleep can be more difficult. Your body temperature rises slightly, as well as certain hormones like progesterone fading off at the end of your cycle, making you less likely to sleep deeply. So it is a good idea to keep track of your cycles so you can take extra precautions.
Lack of Exercise
When you’re a busy mum, it can seem hard to fit anything else into your routine. So when people start talking about exercise, you might start to switch off. But the thing is, when you exercise more, you’re much more likely to sleep better. So my advice would be to schedule in exercise to make it more likely to happen. Your body will crave sleep as it is when you repair and rest. So it has got to be worth a try!
Feel Worried or Anxious
Feeling worried or anxious can be part and parcel of being a mum. But it doesn’t have to stop you from sleeping. A great tip is to have a notebook or post its by your bed. Then, when you get into bed, and you have something on your mind, you can write it all down. This will help you to offload those thoughts elsewhere, rather than you just sat there worrying and thinking about them. So if you’re a worrier, this could really help you.