Hoping this picture captures the realness of #momlife
Are you like me and every time January 1st inches closer I begin reflecting and thinking about the resolutions ahead? I mean, I have many blog posts dedicated to this very concept – however, October 19th is an equally important date to remember this year and this is why. It just so happens to be Evaluate Your Life Day. Never heard of it? To be quite frank, neither have I…but today I get to share with all of you how important of sleep is to evaluating your life and meeting those goals (or resolutions) you’ve set for yourself.
Especially as a new mom, sleep is something I cherish whether it’s a brief 15 minutes, a full opportunity to nap, or that hallelujah moment where I can get the full uninterrupted 8+ hours through the night. Sleep can also be hard to come by. I remember when we brought Greyson home for the first time and it all of a sudden the concept of sleep was nonexistent. We managed, over time, to get our bearings but even then the whole ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ wasn’t something that worked for me as I wasn’t used to sleeping during the day (and that Grey’s Anatomy line where April says “babies don’t sleep!” – so true!). I remember feeling anxious, my mind was busy running through every possible thought, hunger at night definitely played a huge role considering I was nursing full time, and even though I was running on fumes somehow I just didn’t feel tired.
Not getting enough sleep is probably one of the most common problems AND reasons I don’t reach the goals I’ve set for myself. Whether it’s finishing a set of blog posts on time, creating products for my Teachers Pay Teachers online store, or even get a small workout in. Sleep is key to rebuilding your body and making you feel reenergized so that you can tackle the day’s to-do list!
Luckily as my husband and I have set our sleep schedules and have established those necessary routines with Greyson, especially at night, it’s felt as though we’ve finally taken back control of our sleep. And oh what a glorious feeling it is! Although I’d like to take credit for figuring it all out, regaining quality sleep is achieved when following a number of these easy steps courtesy of Casper.
Another great way for me to loosen up before bed is reading. I’ve set a little challenge for myself to read the entire Harry Potter series (considering I’m late to the game and reading them all for the first time). This motivates me to not only read, but to engage my mind in something else rather than filling it with things from the day or tomorrow’s worries. Reading before bedtime has really helped me relax and wind down from these busy mom days. Plus it’s Harry Potter and who wouldn’t want to escape into his magic world for a bit?
I am very guilty of having a busy mind and more than once it’s kept me up staring at the dark ceiling while my husband slept soundly next to me. I would be thinking about conversations had that day, things I need to check off my calendar or to-do list, replay tv or movies I had watched, or even daydream about all the decorating I’m excited to do once we move into our two bedroom….in seven months, people! Having a bedtime ritual (see above) like taking a warm bath/shower then read a few chapters of Harry Potter has really helped me calm my mind lately. I’ve also tried to cut out any late night movies or television and eating so that my body winds down naturally.
This one is a HUGE thing to consider when trying to get those precious z’s at night. I had never thought about the quality of mattress and how important it is to have one until my husband and I began dating and I slept on his Tempur-Pedic bed for the first time. Mind blown. Casper has it completely right when they recommend investing in a proper, and well-designed mattress along with quality bedding and sleepwear. Let’s face it, mattresses can run you into the thousands of dollars but if it means you’ll have a high quality bed for 10+ years (many come with amazing warranties) and you’re able to get those 8+ hours every night – it virtually pays for itself. It only takes sleeping on the worst spring mattress and chronic back aches for me to never go cheap on sleep ever again.
A good rule of thumb I learned while on my weight loss journey the last two years with Weight Watchers (prior to getting pregnant – because any diet goes out the window) was to quit eating/snacking by 8pm, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and cut out as much salt, soda, and caffeine as possible. I also found that cutting back on the wine or cocktails helped curb my hunger since alcohol had a tendency to make me hungry for the very things I shouldn’t be eating at 10pm on a Tuesday. Snacking on whole nuts, string cheese, or other high protein and carb-friendly foods is not only a great healthy alternative, but it helps curb those cravings at night. And ALWAYS DRINK THE WATER. Water helps me fill up and trick my mind into thinking I’m full.
Noise has never really been an issue for me personally, but I do have to say that I enjoy having our box fan (we don’t have air conditioning here by the ocean in CA) running at night for the white noise. It helps cut out any of those outdoor sounds like the lovely train that goes right by our house or just the plain silence that fills the evening air. A little white noise puts me to sleep in a snap.
Which brings me to..
Temperature is another overlooked, but super important, factor for me. I tend to run hot anyways so always having a fan nearby not only provides me with white noise but helps keep me cool at night. I love to snuggle up with an extra blanket if I have to and I personally find it easier to get comfortable by putting on layers versus being too hot and feeling miserable.
A baby makes for a wonderful alarm clock because like literal clockwork, Greyson is up every morning by 8am at the earliest. Sometimes we’re lucky to pull him into bed with us and gain a couple more z’s but nonetheless we’re up at the same time pretty much every day. However, I am more guilty of staying up too late. Since my husband has been home and waiting to begin his new job it’s like we’ve been on summer vacation. Although it’s great, it’s not so great for quality sleep knowing we’re going to have to get up by 8am with Greyson. So, a goal for me is to establish a proper bedtime around 9-10pm each night.
So, for this years’ Evaluate Your Life Day sit back for a moment and see where you can tweak a few things in your life that will make you feel motivated and eager to take on the day. Sleep quality is definitely on my list and a huge thanks to Casper for lending me these sleep cards to share with you all today!
Which one of these sleep problem cards do you most resinate with? What little change can you make to get better sleep and to conquer that problem?