HOW TO: stay asleep and wake up happy
Hey washies!! Let's talk about one of my favorite topics: S L E E P. Almost like clockwork, once we enter adulthood (especially as parents of young children) good, quality sleep appears to evade us. And restless night after restless night leads to a slew of potential health issues and lack of mental clarity- hello perpetual brain fog! So while there may be a lot of attention puyt on getting your children in a healthy bedtime routine, please make sure you are doing the same for yourself!
A few rules to sleep by
- Your TV, computer screen, and phone should not be the last thing you are looking at. I put these away at least one hour before bedtime.
- Instead one hour before your set bedtime, try some simple stretches, unwind with a relaxing book, or warm bath
- relax and release- relax your mind with some nightly meditation and release your jaw and any physical tension from the day
- Stay consistent - bad sleep habits didn't happen over night and unwinding into healthy sleep hygiene may take you a couple weeks. I pinky promise this will be so worth it!
A growling tummy is a sleep no no
Timing an early dinner means timing an early bed time too. If you’re going to bed hungry because you ate dinner four or five hours ago, you might notice a pattern. You might wake around 3 a.m. every single night, undisturbed, just confused and struggling to reach that REM once again.
The science behind why you keep waking up is most likely because of a blood sugar crash. Even sleep requires your body to activate (and undergo some major restoration) and it does require some energy to do so. When you don’t fuel your body with nutrients properly, you’ll experience a dip in blood sugar, which causes a rise in cortisol. (It’s your body’s way of sounding the alarm: aka 3am wake up. A banana and a cup of chamomile tea or a tablespoon of almond butter may just give you the carbohydrates you need to maintain glucose homeostasis throughout the night.
Avoid alcohol before bed
Personally I found a nightly glass of red wine was the culprit of my poor-quality sleep after I had baby number #3. Please do not confuse the drownsiness taht alcohol can cause with falling and staying asleep. It’s not quality sleep we’re getting from a nightcap. A year ago I switched out my nightly glass of wine for CBD and it has been a game changer! It took about two weeks to get to my ideal dose and I have stayed with that dose (every night) for over a year now.
Make your bedroom a sleep haven
One of the best pieces of advice a doctor once gave me is "bedrooms are for two things :)" With that piece of sage advice, try excluding electronics completely from the bedroom. Definitely do not sleep with your phone at your bedside table. Try an old school device like an alarm clock to make sure you are on time for the next day's activities. Save TV time for the living space. Enjoy clean sheets and quality pillows to ensure your bed is as relaxing as possible.