As Kate mentioned back in August, sleep is but a pipe dream for parents. There’s alwaysÂ somethingÂ to get done.
But she’s right that depriving yourself of sleep actually hinders your overall productivity.
Is it possible to find “better” sleep … even when you’re continually short-changing yourself in that particular department?
It turns out there is. Implement a few (or all of these strategies) and you’ll find your sleeping more peacefully in no time.
1. Sip a warm drink. It doesn’t matter if it’s decaf herbal tea or warm milk with a dribble of vanilla; a warm drink may help your body relax. And if you do it nightly, it will begin to signal your system that it’s time to wind down.
2. Ditch your technology. This seems like a no-brainer. But even with the “night mode” on your Kindle or iPad, reading from an electronic device is bad for your sleep mojo, plain and simple. Go back to flipping through a magazine or a physical book and use something like an Itty Bitty booklight to read by.
3. Add white noise or soft music. Short of plugging your ears (which is a great way to tune everyone out, but I’m always afraid I won’t hear the baby monitor), white noise from a fan or noise machine or soft jazz or classical music blocks out the routine rumbles in the neighborhood, the television your hubs is still watching, or even the snoring of your kids upstairs.
4. Black out the windows. There is such a fabulous collection of black-out window shades on the market these days, and many are very fashionable. Whatever you choose, be sure that it blocks out the streetlights and gives you complete darkness.
5. Turn your alarm clock around. That LED light from your alarm clock is surprisingly disruptive to your sleep cycle; you just don’t realize it. Either turn it around to face a wall or cover it with something else entirely. An alternative solution (if you can control yourself and not use it in bed) is to set the alarm on your cell phone or iPad so that there is no light during the evening hours and just a simple beep when you awake.
6. Turn down the thermostat. While slipping in to a warm and cozy bed sounds luxurious, that warm and cozy will often get your overheated in the middle of the night when your body really slows down and needs less heat to keep it functioning at optimum levels. Investing in a heated mattress topper is actually a great way to deal with this; turn the heat up initially and when you turn out the lights, turn the heat down.