Three Tips for Maximizing our Sleeping Hours
Most of us have no more hours left to dedicate to another thing so let's maximize
the hours we do have to get the best rest possible.
Do you wake up in the morning still tired after a full night of sleep? I don’t think
there is anything I relate to more. Even though Magnolia sleeps through the night
and goes to bed at a reasonable time, I still wake up exhausted. Before becoming a
mom, my favorite thing to do was sleep. Now, if I want to get any time to myself,
I stay up late. So how can I make the most out of the hours of sleep I do get without
sacrificing my alone time?
Have a bedtime routine. Magnolia has a bedtime routine that we do every night so that she knows when she
lays down at night that it is time to go to sleep: diaper change, pajamas, bed-time
story, swaddle, sound machine, lights out, and she is asleep within 10 minutes. According
to the Sleep Foundation, having a sleep routine as an adult can help our brains’ know
it is time for us to go to sleep. Make your bedtime routine relaxing to help yourself
wind down and you too will fall asleep easier.
Don’t go to bed hungry. I have heard from countless parents that Magnolia will sleep through the night after
eating solid foods because she won’t be hungry (jokes on them because she has slept
through the night since 8 weeks old). The same concept is true for adults. If we go
to bed hungry, we are more likely to wake up earlier. Having a light, healthy snack
45 minutes before bed will help us to sleep through the night.
Disconnect for 30 minutes. Turn off your television, phones, and other electronic devices 30 minutes before
bed. Minimize potential light and noise sources to create a more conducive environment
Magnolia sleeps through the night because she has a consistent bedtime routine, she
has a full belly, and she sleeps in a completely dark room. The same concepts that
we use to help our children sleep through the night help us to also get better sleep.
As adults, we have a lot more to worry about than our children. For starters, we worry
about our children and we also have careers and other outside priorities to worry
about. We need to make sleeping one of our priorities.
For more information about sleeping, check out the Sleep Foundation at sleepfoundation.org.
Also, check out this article on sleep from Illinois Extension to help get a good nights’ rest.
Torrie Smith, Carroll County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H
shares information on about living well, saving money, and sharing tips to make life
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