As a mum, everyday is busy, chaotic, non-stop…..sound familiar?
Do you often find your mind racing a hundred miles an hour, and when you finally get the kids to bed, and collapse on the pillow yourself, your brain is still ticking over? How do we shut down our brains?
I often do this myself, and it just makes things worse! I’m already tired, then I become over tired because I haven’t slept well – the brain just won’t stop!
You might be finding yourself thinking about what you still have to do this week before the weekend, about a meeting for work you’re preparing for, what you need to prepare for the kids sport this week, or what food do I need to make in the morning before school?
Our brains are constantly turning, so when it’s time to shut down and get some much needed rest, sometimes we need to do a couple of things to tell our brain we’re ready to stop for the day. As mums we are teachers to our kids, but you may not realise that you need to teach your brain too –
COMFORT & NO SCREEN TIME:
Firstly, ensure your bedroom is set up for sleep – comfortable, a good pillow, and try not to watch TV in bed. TV and screens on phones will stimulate your brain, which is the opposite of what you are trying to do! Putting your phone down 1 hour before bed will allow your brain time to slow down. If mess bothers you, have a tidy room before you go to bed.
You need to train your brain to know when it’s time to shut down, so having a routine you do each night will assist with this. It may be after a little TV time, you get your room ready, have a shower, put on your night cream, and get in your jammies. Whatever the routine is, stick to this each night to train your brain. Also ,try to go to bed at the same time each night, and wake at a similar time each morning. Your body has an internal clock and hormones that control sleepiness and wakefulness.
LOOK FOR THE SIGNS:
Your body will often tell you when it’s ready for sleep, but quite often we ignore them, maybe to stay up and finish binge watching our favourite show? Or to make sure the kitchen is clean before bed…..if you’re dozing on the lounge, get up and go to bed. If you go too far into a deep sleep on the lounge, by the time you do move yourself to bed, your brain will stay awake. If your eyes start to sting, you’re yawning, or you struggle to concentrate, these are signs that your body is ready for sleep. Don’t ignore these or you may miss your window of opportunity, and you’ll often find yourself lying awake in bed.
LIMIT FOOD & CAFFEINE:
Caffeine related drinks such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks will keep you awake, so limit this before bed time. Also, make sure if you’re having dessert, you have it more than 1 hour before bed. High levels of sugar, as well as smoking will not assist you to fall asleep.
Local studies have found that more than half of Aussie’s are struggling with sleep and are experiencing symptoms of insomnia. Crazy! Our younger generation especially are finding it harder and harder to fall asleep, as there are so many things to stimulate the brains with modern technology advances. Women in particular often can be overwhelmed by so many thoughts in the brain, and find it challenging to shut down – yep, this is us.
Worrying about what everyone in the family has to do, and trying to remember so much that is jammed into our lives. So give these tips a little try, and see if your sleep improved! We’d love to hear how you go.