7 Sleeping Habits to a Healthier Mom

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Moms are the first to wake up in the morning and the last to sleep at night. Sadly, we have developed sleeping habits that prevent us from getting quality sleep. We are always on our toes. Motherhood has overtaken over everything in our lives, even our sleep.

I had sleepless nights lately. The slightest noise would wake me up. The more I try to go back to sleep, the more awake I am. You know how frustrating this is, especially if my schedule is full the next day. After reviewing my sleeping habits, I realized that I have been doing it all wrong.

So, here are seven sleeping habits we can do to be a healthier mom.

1. Turn off electronic devices. I know that most of us hold on to our phones even before shutting our eyes to sleep. Did you know that the light emitted by our phones, tablets, and even television have a way of tricking our brain into thinking that it is still day time?

The light disrupts our circadian rhythm and affects our sleeping time. Our circadian rhythm is our body’s sleep/wake cycle. Instead of preparing our bodies to sleep, the light awakens us. So the late-night TV watching should stop for me too. Oh, how happy my husband would be 🙂

2. Put off extra caffeine till tomorrow. Are you a mom who cannot start the day without her coffee in the morning? High five to you! If you take your coffee black (like me), avoid taking another cup late in the afternoon or the evening. This is one sleeping habit of moms that has to change.

I remember having dinner with some friends, and as a nightcap, I ordered a cuppa joe. My eyes were as wide as the forest owl. So that is a no-no, Moms. I have the same experience with tea too. I love tea, especially mint flavored tea. Taking it also later in the day hinders me from sleeping well.

3. No binge-eating before bedtime. There is an old saying which says, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” As the day progresses, our meals should get lighter. But in reality, we tend to eat more during dinner.

Lessen naps during the day. Power naps are helpful, especially if our brains need to recharge during the day. However, longer naps may cause us to fall asleep longer at night. Studies show that naps longer than 30 minutes can be disorienting. A good 10 to 15-nap boosts energy for the rest of the day. According to nutritionists, we should take our last meal 3 hours before going to bed. So late night watching with chips or that slice of chocolate cake is a deadly combination. Aside from gaining weight, it affects sleep quality. It may either cause sleep disruption of take longer to fall asleep.

4. Do not skip exercises. Aside from keeping our bodies healthy, regular exercise helps promote better sleep. Studies reveal that our body temperature increases when we exercise. This spike lowers at the end of the day and helps improve the quality of sleep.

However, exercising at night might have an opposite effect on the body. The hormones (adrenaline) produced by the body during exercise may cause the brain to be more alert than somber. But it will depend on you and how your body responds to this stimulus.

Exercise may include walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, or whatever sport you prefer. You don’t have to go out and buy gym clothes or enroll in a class. Exercise videos on YouTube have helped me a lot.

5. Create a regular sleep/wake time. When we set regular wake-up and sleep time, our bodies adjust to that schedule. Our bodies tell us when to hit the sack and when to get up. This has become our circadian rhythm. If we become used to sleeping at 9 PM, we will feel sleepy around that time.
Creating a sleep/wake routine allows us to enjoy quality sleep at night.

6. Keep a bedtime routine. If we keep in step with our morning routine, we should also start a bedtime routine. We have to prepare our brains and bodies to relax and sleep. Take warm showers, read a book, listen to relaxing music, or diffuse essential oils in your room to keep you calm. Avoid activities that stimulate more brain activity.

7. Pray. It is best to start and end the day with a prayer. Being contemplative on the day (hopefully) calms the soul. Be grateful even for the challenges you faced that day. You will have tomorrow to start anew and experience God all over again.

At the end of the day (see what I did there), getting quality sleep is beneficial to moms. Adults need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a day. Less than that may pose harmful effects on the body. If you are still having difficulty sleeping, consult your doctor. It is wise to seek professional help.

I am guilty of not following these healthy sleeping habits. It is only now I understood what’s causing my sleepless nights and poor quality of sleep. So, we can do this, Moms. We can start living a healthier mom life.