As a mom, you’ll know that getting a good night’s sleep can be like finding the holy grail when you have kids! But research shows that poor sleep can have negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. Sleep is also your body’s way of naturally healing itself, ensuring your overall health and wellbeing.
So, besides shipping the kids off to grandma for a few days, what can you do to get more rest so you don’t feel like a zombie when you wake up in the morning?
Here are 5 useful tips you can try
Reduce blue light exposure at night
What’s the last thing you do before turning in for the night? Chances are you’re checking your social media channels, watching a few quick videos, and replying to messages you didn’t get to during the day. Smartphones, tablets, TVs, and computers all emit blue light that affect your sleep.
The light affects your circadian rhythm (that’s our body’s internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle), tricking the brain into thinking that it’s still daytime. This, in turn, reduces the release of hormones like melatonin, which help you relax and enter a deep sleep state.
The solution is quite simple. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, reduce the time you spend on your devices before bedtime. Try switching your phone and laptop off two hours before going to sleep for an insomnia-free experience.
Stick to a sleep schedule
As a kid you probably had a set bedtime and a certain time you’d wake up in the morning? Seems like our parents were onto something. When we go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, this helps reset the body’s internal clock and optimises sleep quality.
So, like you do with your own kids, choose a bedtime, and make sure it leaves you with enough time to get eight hours of sleep. Sticking to a sleep schedule will help your body find its own natural rhythm and settle into a regular sleep-wake cycle – ensuring you don’t toss and turn the whole night.
Burn energy, not midnight oil
Exercising is amazing for mental and general wellbeing, but as a busy mom, it can be the last thing you check off on your daily to-do list. With mornings typically consisting of rushing around trying to get everyone ready for work and school, it’s not always possible to get to the gym or go for a quick jog. The problem, however, is that if you do find time to exercise too close to bedtime it can interfere with your sleep.
Vigorous exercising speeds up your metabolism, elevates body temperature, and stimulates hormones like cortisol – placing your body in ‘go’ mode. To avoid this, the best time to finish a workout (if you have the time) would be three hours before your set bedtime.
On the other hand, low-impact exercises like yoga are ideal for relaxing and can even promote a more peaceful sleep, making it the ideal exercise to do closer to bedtime. Best of all is that you can do it at home.
Mattress toppers, fresh, clean sheets, and blackout curtains can all go a long way in improving your sleeping environment. Likewise, a good mattress and pillow will support your neck and ensure your spine stays aligned while you get those much-needed z’s.
If you just can’t get comfortable at night, you might want to consider the material that your sheets are made of. While some people can’t stay warm, others tend to get too hot. Microfibers are great if you’re struggling to keep warm at night, whereas cotton or linen is recommended if you’re trying to stay cool.
Keep in mind that extra-long fibres increase comfort and durability, and sateen finishes offer softness so you can snuggle in and fall asleep quickly. Think about what you like and then look for fabric that will meet your needs.
Keep it cool and quiet
Unfortunately, sheets can only do so much, and keeping a constant temperature throughout the night is essential for improving sleep quality. The Sleep Foundation found that the best temperature for sleeping is 18.3 ˚C, as this helps the body maintain its natural core temperature.
Summer, as we know, is notorious for hot, sticky, uncomfortable nights; the heat making sleep unbearable at times. Even worse, you can’t leave the windows open in case of mosquitoes! In these cases, an air conditioning system, like the LG ArtCool, is the perfect solution for regulating the temperature in any room, including your bedroom.
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