Here is a funny (read: cruel) fact: The more sleep I need, the less I seem to get! And I can’t blame this entirely on my baby, though she certainly wreaked havoc with it in the early months. It’s more my mind that is to blame. That, and my latest Nordic noir binge on Netflix!
When I collapse into bed at night, my mind goes into overdrive right when I want it to shut down. Have you ever seen that meme “My brain has too many tabs open”? Well, that is me, to a tee. I feel bone tired at the end of the day, but my brain is wired. Tired and wired – that’s probably the default position for a lot of mums.
Over the years I have made a conscious effort to prioritise sleep. Sleep is vital to our overall well-being and mums don’t seem to get enough of it. I know many mums plan to go to bed earlier, but it’s too enticing to spend some quiet time alone without the kids. So we stay up later than we should. But insufficient sleep can play havoc with your mind your body and your soul. You know that, right? Here are a few things that I have noticed help me get a good night’s sleep. I hope they help you too.
5 tips for a good night’s sleep
- Create a gentle bedtime routine
One trigger for sleep is a slight drop in core body temperature, so have a nice warm bath or shower at night. As your body cools, you will naturally begin to feel drowsy and more relaxed (works for kids too). You may also like to try adding half a cup of Epsom salts to your bath – the magnesium from the Epsom salts will be absorbed into your body and help you relax.
- Social Media Curfew
Prepare your sleep environment: switch off screens an hour before bed – and banish them from the bedroom. The light from devices and computer screens affects the brain’s production of melatonin, your natural sleep-inducing hormone. I have a strict 9.30pm social media curfew. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through my Facebook feed, I go to bed with a book and read for at least half and hour.
- Adopt a mindfulness practice.
It’s important to wind down at the end of a busy day, and quieten that mummy brain stream of consciousness of all the ‘to dos’ that race through our heads. Stress will inhibit sleep, but this is a hard one when you’ve got a lot on your mind. Meditation, yoga and simple breathing exercises in the evening can help. There are loads of apps that can assist if you need some guidance
- Natural sleep aids
There are many natural sleeping tablets on the market such as valerian and melatonin. Lately I’ve been trying to eat foods rich in magnesium (bananas, almonds). I also use a magnesium spray at night before going to bed. If your kids have trouble sleeping, you might try something like this for them as well. Essential oils can also help. Lavender is known to aid sleep, and each night I sit quietly breathing in the scent of lavender from my oil diffuser.
- A clean, inviting, bed.
Is there anything more inviting than a beautiful, well-made bed with clean, fresh linen, beckoning you to get in? Well, possibly, but it’s pretty darn good. But there’s more to a clean bed than freshly laundered linen. Did you know that stains and spills, bacteria and mould, dust mites, yellowing, bed bugs and allergens lurk in an unprotected mattress? Not to mention the fact that humans sweat up to 1L of body fluid per night and lose thousands of skin flakes! Now I am no germ phobe, but this is yuk! Let me introduce you to a product that ensures my bed is clean and inviting:
The Protect-A-Bed mattress protector
This mattress protector is traditional quilted style and best for everyday comfort. It has all the advantages of cotton, plus the added benefit of extra support and padding, thanks to the natural cotton filling. Protect-A-Bed’s® Miracle Layer™ is soft and comfortable yet waterproof and breathable. Plus, it’s machine washable and you can tumble dry, which is a huge tick in my world. Approved by the National Asthma Council Australia Sensitive Choice Program and Red Nose (Sids and Kids) a quality assured Protect-A- Bed® mattress protector is like an insurance policy for your mattress.
Thanks to Protect-A-Bed my bed now is clean, inviting and tidy and I can sleep safe and sound. If only it could free my mind from the clutter lurking in there….
Did you know?
- SWEAT: Humans sweat up to 1L of body fluid per night and lose millions of skin flakes each night. After 5 years, half the weight of a mattress can be made up of our own body fluids, skin cells, mould and bacteria. Yuck!
- DUST MITES: Dust mites lurk in an unprotected mattress and are a major cause of asthma and allergies. Despite their tiny size, dust mites produce 10-20 waste particles per day!
- SLEEP: We spend 1 third of our life sleeping. New parents lose between 450-700 hours of sleep in the first year of their child’s life!
How well do you sleep at night? Do you get enough sleep?
*This post was brought to you by Protect-A-Bed. All views are my own.