Many of us do not sleep enough. I have been guilty of this so many times in my life, by my own choice. I have sacrificed sleep for more productivity, or TV, or because I wasn’t great at my time management throughout the day.
I have researched and complied my tips to give yourself the best opportunity for great sleep.
It’s easy to have the mindset that it will be okay if I am tired tomorrow. Too often, we choose to watch just one more episode or do one more thing before bed which causes us to get less sleep.
Now I want to preface this post, If you are a new momma and have kids that are getting up at night. I extend grace to that. There is a reason that our babies get up. It is not something we should feel bad about. And there will be a time for more sleep!
My biggest tip for moms is to do what you can to prioritize sleep for you. Maybe that means going to bed earlier or taking a nap when baby naps. You don’t need to conquer the world in a day, especially when you have young kids. Make sure you are getting as much sleep as you can!
Most people undersleep and that can lead to health issues over time. We need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Everyone is different and everyone will have a different tolerance for burning the candle at both ends. But we need at least 7 hours on average to function well.
I have a very small tolerance for not enough sleep myself. If I stay up late one night, I cannot do it again the next night. I have to get enough sleep because my body and physiology cannot handle not having sleep. I mean, I could barely do it in college and I forsure cannot do it now.
Just because you can function off less sleep doesn’t mean you should do it.
The Benefits of Sleep
Immune system – We need sleep for our immune system to function well.
Metabolism – our metabolism relies heavily not only on sleep but good sleep – I have heard and read that some people even put sleep above nutrition. I don’t know where I land on that thought but if sleep really is as important as the food we eat, then we must prioritize it.
Increased Productivity – Most of the time we choose to go to bed later or wake up earlier because we feel that we will be more productive with more hours awake. Choosing a good quality amount of sleep will actually make you more productive. I have learned this as a mom hundreds of times. My body and physiology tell me that I cannot get up too early and I have to go to bed no later than 10:30 or my next day fatigue cuts my productivity in half.
Brain Health – Our mood is better with sleep. Our memory is improved with sleep. We will be productive when we are happy and joyful and have a better mood and our memory is high.
Decreases Stress – Our bodies need rest to unwind and de-stress.
Decreases Inflammation – we need sleep for healing and detoxification. Inflammation is the driver of so many chronic health issues and disease processes. We need sleep to heal chronic conditions. I am currently working on some healing in my body. What my body needs is at least 8 sometimes 9 hours of sleep.
I am not winning any awards by getting up at 5am and spending time getting my work done for the day or prepping dinner. Personally, I need about an hour before my kids get up. But I let my body sleep. I need sleep and it may not be worthy of an instagram morning routine. But it works for me in this season.
I give you permission to not get up early if your body needs the sleep. If you are healing or your body is sleep deprived, get the sleep. You can figure out times in your day to get things done later or take things off of your plate. You don’t have to do it all in this season. And you can’t do it all in a day anyways.
Tips for Getting the Best Sleep
Blue Light Blocking Glasses – Truth be told, we should be screen free for an hour or two before bed. Am I screen free and hour before bed? No, I’m not. I’m not going to pretend that I am or give you false information. A lot of time because I stay home with my girls, I spend my evenings before bed working. So I protect my eyes by wearing blue light blocking glasses.
You can get cheap ones for $20 or so on Amazon. You can also get higher quality glasses from Felix Gray or Warby Parker. I put them on when the sun goes down or when I put the kids to bed. I wear them until I go to bed.
Bed Before 11 PM– This is a big one. Sleep before midnight is twice as effective as sleep after midnight. I have seen some studies that claim that no matter what time you go to bed as long as you get 8 hours of sleep you are fine. On the other side, there are many studies that claim that following a circadian rhythm (following the sun)is best. I have tracked my sleep on my Oura Ring and it’s true. I get deeper sleep before 2 am than I do afterwards.
I know for myself that going to bed past midnight that I don’t feel good the next day. I don’t get the proper amount of sleep. Our body works much better on a circadian rhythm. Some people get a second wind around 10pm or 11pm. This means that you missed the first window to fall asleep and you will have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.
If you are night owl and chronically like to stay up, I recommend slowly adjusting your sleep schedule. Move it up 15 minutes a night until you are at an ideal bedtime.
Sleep in a Colder Temperature – 68 degrees is where I sleep the best.
Sleep Where it is Dark – Add room darkening shades, shutters or blinds. Do what you need to do to have it as dark as possible. Put electrical tape over your fire alarm light. Put something over your alarm clock screens. Dark is the best for sleep.
White Noise – Even really quiet white noise helps. You can do research of the difference between white noise, pink noise and brown noise. Pink noise is much calmer and your body will like it more. HERE is the sound machine I use and recommend.
Maintain a Sleep Schedule – Try to be as close to your set bedtime as you can and wake up around the same time. Even between weekdays and weekends. This gets your body in a routine and helps you feel better.
Now you may have known all of these already and still struggle. Maybe you can’t sleep, don’t get restful sleep. These next tips are for you.
In-depth Sleep Tips
Essential Oils – Look for Essential Oils for sleep. Oils like roman camomile, lavender and cedarwood all have benefits for sleep. Essential Oils can be good and help your body wind down.
Analyze Waking Up at Same Time Every Night – Waking up at the same time every night especially around 3am can have to do with blood sugar balance. If you wake up around the same time each night, I recommend looking at nutrition overall.
You don’t want blood sugar spikes and dips throughout the day. Women have more hormones at play which in turn means more blood sugar issues. Try a bedtime snack of carbs, protein or a fat bomb. Try each and see what is helpful.
You can also look at the Chinese Organ Body Clock to see the times that correlate with organ regeneration. This is not diagnostic but can clue you in to an area that many need more support in your body.
Infrared Saunas – Infrared saunas can increase melatonin. More melatonin equals better sleep. If you do not have access to an infrared sauna, a hot bath can work similarly. I love my Solo Sauna from Sunlighten.
Specific Supplements – Support body areas like liver, gut or adrenals that need help with supplements. Utilizing nutrition and supplements to support your body. I always recommend hiring a functional medicine doctor to help you with this.
We are all unique and individual. Our sleep needs are going to be individual as well. Each of the tips I gave you are supported by research and my own experience. Not all of these tips will work for everyone. But my hope is that you find a few tips that will help you get the best night of refreshing sleep.
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