Real Mom's Survival Guide to Getting Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation created a helpful list of ways you can improve your sleep. While these suggestions are excellent, they were missing some tips specifically for moms that we feel really should've been included. Here is the Sleep Foundation's list, reproduced in full but with Lunya's improvements on improving your sleep noted in bold. We call our list the Mom’s Survival Guide to Getting Some Sleep.
To begin a new path towards healthier sleep and a healthier lifestyle, begin by assessing your own individual needs and habits. See how you respond to different amounts of sleep. Then, have a baby, and never sleep well again.
Pay careful attention to your mood, energy and health after a poor night's sleep (i. e, every night post-baby) versus a good one (a what?). Ask yourself, "How often do I get a good night's sleep?" Like good diet and exercise, sleep is a critical component to overall health. And also to sanity, but that never stopped anyone from becoming a mom.
To pave the way for better sleep, follow these simple yet effective healthy sleep tips, including:
- Stick to a sleep schedule , even on weekends. Be prepared to live in your sleepwear because that schedule will be forever-changing, thanks to your insomniac kids, and you need to be prepared to stop, drop and sleep at a moment’s notice.
- Learn to sleep anywhere: At the kitchen table, standing up, on the towel covering the toddler-pee on your bed, or smushed into the crib next to your kid. Doesn't matter. Just sleep.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual .Add wine, chocolate, and comfy sleepwear to that relaxing ritual and you've got yourself a vacation. Yes, this is the only type of vacation you're gonna take for a long time. Splurge on that sleepwear - that's your Hawaii right there.
- Exercisedaily. In case you're wondering if picking up and putting down a crying child 9,795 times daily counts as exercise- Yes. Yes it does. Bonus points for "exercising" in your sleepwear! Yay!
- Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, soundand light. Then, evaluate the child who is sleeping draped across your head and decide that the other stuff doesn't matter as long as it doesn't wake this kid up.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattressand pillows. Or stuffed animals, board books and baby bottles. Same difference if you're actually sleeping. Again, here is where comfy sleepwear is your friend. No need to wrestle with your pajama pants while you’re wrestling with snoopy for pillow space.
- Beware of hidden sleep stealers , like alcohol and caffeine.
- Beware of non-hidden sleep stealers, like small humans you created with your body that incessantly say, "mom. mom. mom. mommy. mom. " all night long. Then re-categorize the ‘hidden sleep stealers' into ‘needed life savers'. 'Cause they will save everyone's life. Everyone's.
- Turn off electronics before bed. Unless they are performing any of the following: putting the kid to sleep, keeping the kid asleep, stopping the kid from screaming, keeping you from screaming at the kid, or, alone, into your pillow.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as sleepiness during the day or when you expect to be awake and alert, congratulations! You're a mom!
You may also try using the National Sleep Foundation Sleep Diary to track your sleep habits over a one- or two-week period and bring the results to your physician. They won't be able to help you change things, but tracking is simple, especially if you've learned how to sleep with your face on your computer. (And a glare screen can easily double as a drool screen.)
Most importantly, make sleep a priority. You must schedule sleep like any other daily activity, so put it on your "to-do list" and cross it off every night. But don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.
Y'know, do that just like how you put on makeup, do your hair, and shower when you need to. Cause we all know moms are always able to put their needs first!
For more information (and less snark) about improving your sleep go to www.sleepfoundation.org - or skip it and just shop for some LUNYA sleepwear, knowing that, at least, if you never sleep again, you’ll still look darn good!