I’m a massive fan of sleeping (I’ve previously discussed daily naps and how to sleep during the day!). This simple act can have the biggest impact on my mood, health and overall well-being. Simply put, if I don’t get enough, or am slightly short over a period of time it catches up on me and I can be very low. You know what they say “no food, bad mood. No sleep, big weep.” Nevermind the kids, that pretty much sums up my moods swings to a tee!
If I’m moody, give me a snack. If I’m teary, send me to bed!
However, I have a toddler who doesn’t respect this. He is sleeping worse than he was as a newborn (or at least it feels like it!) – not settling until late, up with the larks (or before) and up often several times in the night! Yesterday, Mike finally bought us a Gro Clock, so we’ll see how the sleep training goes but in the meantime, I wanted to focus on Mama’s sleep. How to sleep to the max when Tod-zilla is terrorising your sleeping hours?
How to sleep to the MAX!
1. Make sleep a priority
Try and set your day up so you get your desired amount of sleep.
I personally try to get 8 hours so that means being in bed by 9pm, especially as I have been getting up at 5:30am anyway to do my workouts for the 6 week body transformation. It doesn’t matter what the clock says, if you’re tired get to bed. I’ve been known to be in bed by 7:30pm in the hope to make up for some of the broken nights. It does mean that other things might suffer (blogging, clean house, etc.) but since you’re up so early, try and do that stuff then!
This isn’t going to make you especially popular with your other half either…so make sure you have some quality time together at other times – since we’re up early, Mike and I have been having some lovely quality time together over a coffee in the morning!
2. Create your own Bedtime Routine
I’ve suspected for a while that I’m just a toddler in a woman’s body, so I’ve got myself a fully-fledged bedtime routine. I’ve always been someone who falls asleep easily, but if you struggle to drop off this is really important to prep your mind for relaxation. My lovely friend Vicki from Honest Mum struggles with sleep from time to time, so if you struggle too, I’d recommend reading her tips on getting the zeds she needs and a good bedtime routine.
My routine includes having a “sleepy tea”, as I like to call it (a Pukka Nighttime Tea), or two. I try not to watch TV or use my phone (but sometimes a little pinterest in bed is quite fun!) and I’ll read a book for say half an hour in bed, or until my eyes start dropping. If I’m feeling especially in need of some R&R, I’ll have a bath first. I love all the Aromatherapy Associates oils, Mike got me a selection for Christmas and they include things like ‘Relax Light’, ‘Relax Deep’ and ‘Destress’. They also make your skin feel lovely!
3. Make your room a sanctuary
This is definitely a work in progress in our room – as we’re working around the new house making it ‘ours’, the bedroom is our last port of call and is FAR from the way we would like it. As such, we’ve neglected it; there’s still the odd box lying around and we’ve not found homes for everything that we’ve got out. I’m sure it must be affecting our zen!
So a new priority is to make our room a little sanctuary – clearing the clutter, no more clothes lying around, fresh sheets every 1 to 2 weeks (is there anything better than fresh sheets??), and hopefully within the next month or two, a redecoration to get rid of the horrible peach curtains and stained carpets! But the latter isn’t necessary to make your room more relaxing!
4. Make your room smell good
According to a recent study, 41% of Japanese people find it easier to relax if the room smells nice!
I’ve recently got a few sleepy products from a company called Neom Organics from their Scent to Sleep range, as I was particularly interested in the idea of scent to help you relax and get a really good night’s sleep. After reading Jessica Alba’s book, an Honest Life, I’ve been weary of using any scented products in our house because the vast majority have nasty things in them.
Neom is organic and has none of those nasty chemicals in, so I was really excited to give it a try. I got both the Tranquillity candle and the Reed diffuser and they smell amazing – a mix of lavender, sweet basil and jasmine. I also love the fact they have tested their products over 2 years and this particular blend resulted in the vast majority of participants having a better night’s sleep…I want that job! Being paid to sleep? That is definitely something I’d excel at!
I also got the bubble bath, so I can enjoy the smell even before I get to bed!
5. Products that work while you sleep
I try to wash my face and moisturise before bed, because what you don’t want is your make up doing nasty things to your skin while you innocently slumber. So that’s a given, right?! And at the moment I’m using some Elemis cleanser, toner and moisturiser, which I was given to try after a facial in John Lewis. Winner!
I have also been trialling a product, called Moisture Mittens, for the award-winning company Yes! Nurse. Yes! Nurse specialise in hand cream but they have recently extended their product range to include gloves which you wear over night. I must admit at first it was weird to wear gloves to bed! I felt like a victorian lady and Reuben didn’t like them (but then he shouldn’t wake up so much)! Over time, I’ve started to get comfort from them protecting my addled mitts.
I have alright hands from time to time, but with lots of (OK, some) washing up, and general mum duties that require constant hand washing, they can get really dry. In particular my cuticles. I don’t tend to use hand cream much as I’m washing my hands so much – it’s a catch 22!
The premise with the Moisture Mittens is that you work the wonder cream (my words) into your hands, focusing on any particularly dry bits, then pop the gloves on. While you are sleeping your claws will be turned into beautiful paws (they recommend 7 nights but I noticed a difference straight away!), making your sleep even more useful!
So that is how to sleep to the MAX (in my humble opinion)! What are your tips for the best sleep ever?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!