When your daily routine involves waking up early with your kids, putting in a full day at work, running errands, cooking dinner, and tucking everyone in to sleep before finally getting the chance to hit the pillow yourself, feeling fatigued seems unavoidable.
While a busy schedule may be a given, being exhausted shouldn’t be. You’ve probably heard the analogy about how in life, as in an airplane, you need to put your oxygen mask on before assisting others—meaning you have to take care of yourself first before you can most effectively take care of anyone else. But how can you do that when you have so much going on? One word: sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can affect your daytime functioning, including your ability to handle changing situations, make decisions, and manage emotions. It also impacts your reaction time. You want all of that in tip-top working order, which means you need restful sleep. These 4 small tips can have a big impact on making that happen:
Keep your room like a cave. You want it to be quiet, dark, and cool—somewhere around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for most people. Put away cellphones and laptops at least 30 minutes before bed. The screens can give off a sleep-disrupting light.
Go to sleep at the same time every night. Yes, even on the weekends. Yes, that can be difficult. However, it really will help keep your internal body clock on schedule.
Set a sleep mood. Having a bedtime ritual can signal to your brain and body that it’s time to unwind. Maybe it’s drinking a cup of herbal tea, practicing a breathing exercise, or quietly reading. Find something relaxing that you can look forward to.
Limit afternoon coffee consumption. Caffeine gets us up and moving in the morning, increasing alertness. But the effects can linger for up to 7 hours and put a damper on bedtime.
About a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep (defined as at least 7 hours per night). There’s no doubt pressure to be a do-it-all mom, but make sure doing it all involves getting plenty of shut-eye.
Sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk for:
Mental health problems
Type 2 diabetes
If you’re struggling with sleep, see your healthcare provider. Everyone deserves a night of sweet dreams.