As a mom of two, I don’t think I can ever get enough sleep. Once I fight the toddler into bed, the baby starts acting up, not pleased about going to sleep and not being held by mommy. He has also taken to waking at least once a night after his 8pm bedtime. I know he is teething, but gosh it is so hard to get a good night sleep – forget those naps that I used to take when my daughter was little.
I am the worst about actually getting in bed and falling asleep once they are down. It is the only part of the day where I actually get “me time.” There is always something to clean, lunches to prepare, work to do or posts to write. Never mind all of those shows that I never have time for anymore.
But in the last few weeks, I have been really focusing on trying to get more sleep. I find that if I get the quality sleep I need, I am less tired throughout the day, and less cranky with the kids.
Here are some of the things that I have been doing to get more sleep:
Cutting the Caffeine:
I am a coffee nut, I could drink coffee all day, it is so awesome for someone who is exhausted all of the time and suffers from sucky migraines. Caffeine helps both, but also leaves me wired right when I am about to go to sleep. I have started to limit myself to one double cappuccino in the morning and one soda during the day. I still drink plenty of tea, but try to choose water first. My favorite is Smart Water, so I buy 12 packs of the big bottles to carry around with me throughout the day. They are expensive, but I usually chug at least 2 per day. I also buy myself 8 packs of sodas, and never put them in the fridge. I hate adding ice, and have to wait for them to chill, so I always think twice before drinking them.
Turning off the TV on Weeknights
I used to spend hours watching TV a night in bed. My husband goes to bed super early, so I always kept him awake. Now I actually go into the living room to watch TV, which is not as comfortable as my bed, so I usually turn in pretty early. Making myself be more mindful of watching TV instead of carrying my tablet everywhere watching Hulu also helps. I spent so much time watching reality (crap) TV, that I would get worked up by the fights and storylines that it would be hard for me to go to bed or relax. Cutting this out greatly increases my chances of going to bed before my son wakes back up.
Cutting the Screen Time
I am glued to my cell phone. I can spend hours reading articles (which is actually working – I try to stay on top of trends) but also just screwing around on my favorite sites (Facebook and Cheezburger). All of my e-books are on my phone as well, so it is hard to put it down, even when I am trying to sleep. I actually started to put the phone away as soon as I get under the covers. This way I won’t get sucked into dancing bird videos or four more chapters of whatever book I am reading. This also helps me to calm down and relax before bed.
Just Go To Sleep
Sometimes the best thing to do is to just give in to your tiredness. I am always concerned with trying to get more work done or more of the house in order, but at the end of the day, it will all be there the next day. I am working harder at just getting ready for bed and just getting into the covers and succumbing to sleep. You would be amazed at how many times I fell asleep this week as soon as I hit the pillow, instead of tossing and turning like I thought I would.
In short, I am really not going to find a million more hours in the day, or find the magical pill that will make me not need my coffee every morning, but the little changes I am making are helping me edge a little more sleep out of every day.