It’s June 1st! Start out the month fully refreshed, and well-rested!
Before I had Sophie I would sleep 10 hours a night, and that is no exaggeration. I’m a pretty outgoing, bubbly person, and it takes work to exert that energy all day! Aside from being terrified of giving birth, the second thing I was most afraid of was lack of sleep. Luckily the Lord is kind and merciful, and gave me a baby who slept through the night from 2 months-5 months… but the first couple weeks were rough and it felt hopeless, like I would never sleep again. And even though Sugar Plum did eventually sleep through the night, a magical thing happened to us around 5 months… teeth slowly started to appear. Teething, is just horrible. Right when you think you have figured out your baby’s sleep patterns, teething happens.
In any case, every mom needs a plan of attack for getting more sleep. Here are my tips.
1. Coffee – or tea, or whatever caffeine beverage you’re downing during the day to stay awake.. Stop it. Well, stop it after 3 pm. It takes a few hours for your body to burn off all the caffeine in your system. You want it to keep you awake, but I’m assuming you don’t want to be awake at bed time. The faster you fall asleep, the more sleep you’ll get!
2. Screen time – Limit screen time before bed. Having your eyes glued to your screen just before bed [or in my case, while I was in bed] keeps both your eyes and brain alter. You will have more success sleeping if you take time to wind down or meditate before bed.
3. Light – I first tried this tip after I saw it on Disney Baby’s blog and I think it has really improved my ability to fall back asleep after waking up for a feeding. Like the example of screen time, your eyes and brain wake up to bright light, specifically, certain colors of light. Red is a color that will trick your eyes, in a certain sense, into ‘not waking up.’ I bought a red, flower shaped night light at Walmart that fits this purpose. I can still see everything I need to see, without becoming 100% wired while I’m awake.
4. Relax – Whatever helps you feel relaxed, find time to do it before bed. For me, ideally, it’s taking a hot shower and using some kind of relaxation/stress relief body wash… but I’m usually running around just before bed, trying to throw in one more load of laundry, or do the dishes. What I do most nights, it rub some lavender essential oil on my shoulders. It feels nice, and the smell helps lull me to sleep.
5. Pray – or meditate, or whatever. If my mind is racing, thinking about things that I need to accomplish or tasks I didn’t finish… I quiet it down by taking a few deep breaths and praying. The rosary is a great tool because its repetitive, easy to memorize, and the prayers are personally soothing to me. But you can meditate on anything really. I’ve fallen asleep to the thought of my own daughter peacefully asleep.