Friends, I am tired. TIRED! When it comes to being rested, something has happened to me since having children; I have lost my mind and lost my ability to sleep. Sure I put my head on the pillow every night, but real sleep, the kind that you wake up with drool on your face, your eyes slightly crusted over, and an extra kick in your step ready—that kind of sleep-- has completely escaped me. My kids are 4 and 6 and champion sleepers, thank you, Baby Sleep Gods, but every night I find myself restless, waking a half a dozen times, and when day breaks, I’m already thinking about how can I sneak in a nap.
We’re supposed to be sleeping 7-9 hours a night. I’ll give your tired brain a moment to let that sink it. 7-9 hours—Even if I somehow find myself in bed for 7 hours, there’s no way I’m actually asleep those full 7 hours.
Here's my craziest sleep deprived confession:
If you’re like me and have a million and one things going on and sleep seems to evade you, why not try my Mom Hacks for more sleep. In fact, let’s all try them together and wake refreshed and ready to take on the world without that second cup of coffee..or fourth.
- Put Down the Coffee and Diet Coke- This makes you nervous, right? Next I’ll be telling you to stop wearing yoga pants. Don’t worry! I’ll never say that. After 2 PM, you shouldn’t have any caffeine even though it would help you get through dinner, bed, and bath time. Instead, try water and giving yourself breaks if you’re feeling sluggish. That late day caffeine will keep you up at bedtime.
- The Ultimate Powernap- If you can sneak away for a quick nap, do it! But here’s how you should prepare for that nap: drink a cup of coffee then rest for 15 minutes. The effects of the caffeine will take 15 minutes to kick in and that’s all the time you need to recharge but not affect your sleep at night. Think about the times your kids fall asleep in the car for a few minutes and can’t sleep that night- same thing goes for you.
- Smell Ya Later, Technology- This one is hard, I'll admit. Get the TV out of your bedroom. Sorry, Golden Girls re-runs, we can’t watch you anymore. Leave your phone to charge somewhere else--you’ll need a good old fashioned alarm clock. iPad, sorry you have to go too. While you may think you’re relaxing with your technology, it’s actually delaying and disturbing your sleep.
- Track Your Sleep- Use all those fancy sleep apps or fitness bands to see how much sleep you’re actually getting. How do you feel each morning? Get a sense of what’s working for you.
- Solving the World’s Problems at 2 AM- This is the time my brain likes to take on all the stress and lingering questions in my life. So there I sit, in the dark, unable to sleep, and feeling slightly ragey because my husband and dog are snoring away. When this happens, I get up and go to another room, another bed, or try to sleep on the other end of the bed. Sometimes a simple change like this can help lull you back to sleep.
- Sleep Like A Baby—Try the same routines you use for your kids: a bath, warm pajamas and socks, and a little white noise. The same cues that let your baby know it’s bedtime can help your brain prepare for sleep too.
- Raise The White Flag- Listen, Mamma, you’ll be no good to anyone if you’re constantly exhausted. So leave those dishes in the sink, come back to the DVR later, and get some sleep even if means your bedtime is right after the kids.
So sweet dreams to you and to me. Now excuse me while I try to convince everyone in this house to take a nap. Zzzzzzzzzz