It's November. Holiday season is upon us. The schedules are packed. This is the time of year that life gets busy and moms are on overdrive with everyday routines, waking up before dawn, chasing the school bus, scrambling to pack lunches, and chauffeuring kids to all-the-places. Then at night you're shopping, planning travel and food and all the things.
While I’m grateful that this year provides a bit more normalcy for our kids, I KNOW that it’s extra tough on the mental and physical energy of moms.
We know that you might need cheerleaders to help you focus on you. Before you roll your eyes, we fully understand how hard it can be to squeeze in bits of mom time. We also know what happens when moms over-sacrifice our own sanity and health for the good of those around us and it doesn’t end well (ask me how I know).
Ready for today's lesson?
Moms need more sleep.
I know you want to delete this email right this second because, well, duh!
Here’s the hard truth that we all need to hear:
We are our own worst enemies when it comes to limiting our own ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Without appropriate sleep, most other health interventions are meaningless because without adequate rest our physical and mental health can never be optimized.
I’ve got a few tips to help you get more shut eye:
1. Just say no. Consider the things that are consuming your evenings or making your schedule so busy that you can’t sleep 7 to 9 hours per night. What can you cancel? Perhaps instead of baking cookies for the school party you could just pick them up from the store. As women we are very good at overfilling our plates. If you can’t get enough sleep because there is too much juggling, then it’s time to reconsider commitments. Not all seasons of life allow us to say yes to all the things. Especially if you’re a mom of littles that still wake during the night, it’s not your time to be in the church nursery by 6 am every Sunday. I’m not saying quit everything, I’m saying consider how you can best use your gifts to serve while maintaining your sanity.
2. Reverse your days. A friend shared this with me and it’s brilliant. Instead of thinking of our days as beginning in the morning at wakeup time, switch to considering bedtime the beginning of your day. It’s a great way to get your brain to prioritize bedtime in a different way. For example, rather than my day beginning at 6 am for wake up, it begins at 10 pm the night before. You’ll better focus on what you’re doing at bedtime. It really works.
3. Put your kids to bed earlier. I know getting kids to bed can feel impossible. I have found that the later my kids go to bed, the later I go to bed. When I put them to bed the earlier I go to bed earlier, PLUS I have time to relax and spend time with my husband. Winning! I realize that those with older kids might have trouble with this, but I have friends who have implemented “quiet hours” at their home meaning that after a certain time everyone needs to be respectful of others rest (just like at a hotel because… you still pay the mortgage).
4. Turn off your phone and the tv. I enjoy unwinding in the evening with Netflix just as much as the next gal. It feels rewarding to zone out after a busy day full of work and kids that makes my brain hurt. My husband and I have implemented a “cut off” time to keep us accountable. The time varies based upon what’s happening in life, but it’s a great way to implement #2 too. I also tend to like to lay in bed and mindlessly scroll “just for 5 minutes”. Not only does stress inducing social media NOT help us get ready for bed, but blue light from devices stimulates our brains. Best bet? Put it on the charger and read instead.
5. Movement and magnesium. Studies show that active people sleep better. Make sure you’re moving during the day. It seems counterintuitive, but it works. Also, if you find yourself wide awake at night employ #4 and consider topical magnesium about 30 minutes before bed. We use this onefor ourselves and our boys to help everyone relax and sleep well.
You can do it Mama! Let’s commit to REST this School year!
- Coach Emily