Is sleep really that important?

sleep tips

Why yes, yes it actually is. A week ago I had a stretch where I hadn’t slept more than 4 hours broken over 5 nights. Two of the nights were because of my beautiful toddler who is having bad dreams, is hungwy, not sweepy, etc.  One of the nights was due to nausea, and getting up to pee 6-7 times. But the other two happen more frequently. Those nights I just had insomnia.  I’ve had insomnia for as far back as I can remember even as a small child.

I’m focusing now to try to get back into a good sleep rhythm because I know it won’t be good if I can’t sleep during the precious time available with a newborn.  I have spent a lot of time working out ways to improve my sleep habits, here are a few:

  • Exercise regularly (I’ve been doing yoga 4-5 times a week when I first get up before McKenna does).
  • Drink water all day but stop a few hours before bed.
  • Herbal options (in the past I’ve tried chelated magnesium, valerian root and melatonin).
  • Hot herbal tea (peppermint is one of my favorites! Chamomile is also delightful).
  • Stop screen time an hour (2 if possible) before bed time.
  • Make sure my tummy is full (I swear this relates to more than just pregnant women but it’s especially important now because hunger wakes me up or keeps me awake right now).
  • Warm bath.
  • Wine (not right now!).
  • Stretching before bed.
  • Massage before bed (I’m a lucky girl because when I’m pregnant I get a massage almost every night!).
  • Keep bed time and wake up time consistent.
  • White noise or calm music helps me. We started using white noise through our daughter (we hear it through the monitor) and now I love it. Sometimes I will also listen to the best of Enya album which is nice because most of the words are unrecognizable.
  • Every once in awhile I  get up and go through my bedtime routine again. It’s basically a do-over.
  • Flipping my head to the opposite end of the bed.
  • Sleep mask! I just started using one and I love it.
  • Herbal mist on sheets and blankets. The one I use right now is a blend of peppermint and lavender.
  • If my mind is full I do a brain dump and this helps me to get out all of my thoughts on paper in order to leave my mind clear and ready for sleep. Sometimes I have to do this a few times to really get it empty lol.

There may be more that I haven’t tried or some that I’ve tried and forgotten but this is a list of my most common tactics to sleep better. A little over a week ago a friend gave me a suggestion that I had never heard before! She suggested that I get out as soon as I could in the morning to get some time in the sun. She recommended at least 10 minutes but to try 30 for best results. The idea is that it reminds your body when daytime is and it should help your body also realize when it is nighttime. I’ve been doing this now for a week and it has made a huge difference! In fact, I had a day in the middle that I missed and that night took me 4x longer to get to sleep. I’m still having some other sleep issues (active dreams, wake ups, etc) but getting to sleep is usually the hardest part for me.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>