Taking Back Your Sleep in Three Easy Steps

We all know that sleep is important. But for a significant population of us, it’s unattainable. For new parents across the country, a good night’s sleep is simply out of the question, and it’s not going to get any better for months on end. When it comes to parenthood, it’s a trial by fire, initiation, and “challenging” is the best possible, and most polite way to describe it.

But the good news is that those sleepless nights will come to an end; one day! As the child grows, parents will have to contend with new, far more exciting challenges, but at last sleep will be obtainable once again. Still, as new parents you’re going to have to relearn how to do it. For the benefit of all the night owls out there, here’s how to re-establish a close relationship with the pillow.

Control the Light

Your electronics are messing with your sleep cycle. It’s simply not something our brains have evolved to contend with. For our entire history, humans have depended on the natural light of the sun to get anything done which is why our brains power off in the evening. Thousands of years later, we keep the same sleeping schedule, but artificial light has made day and night mostly irrelevant. It’s easy for our brains to get confused as a result, and at nighttime it can make the pursuit of sleep an elusive one.

Go easy on the gadgets as you’re winding down before bed. The blue light spectrum of light that is emitted from the screens of your laptop, tablet, or phone is proven to inhibit the production of the sleep-inducing melatonin hormone. Reading or watching a show on Netflix might feel like winding down, but it’s actually having the opposite effect.

Don’t Bring Your Troubles to Bed

One of the greatest contributing factors to insomnia is our mental state. We tend to lie in bed at night feeling stressed out about the events of the day or dreading the next. One trick you could try is attempting to sort it out before you lie down. If you’re a visual person, sit at a desk and organize your thoughts on paper with to-do lists, reflect with a journal, or chat with a loved one if that’s helpful. Our minds want to fixate on problems until they find the solutions. If you’re stuck on one, tossing and turning in bed is almost inevitable.

Manage Your Diet

What you eat is critical to how well you sleep. It’s easy to think that a big meal is a great way to pass out because we’re all familiar with food comas, but that energy crash only leads to napping which doesn’t include the full sleep cycle that we need. Your body actually has a more difficult time sleeping while it’s digesting, and will do both less efficiently if they happen at the same time.

Additionally, fluids like coffee and alcohol make a big difference. A night cap is popular, but not conducive to good sleep. Similarly, even coffee drunk during the late afternoon can have a negative effect on sleep at night. Try to limit coffee to a morning affair.

You owe it to yourself to get a good night’s sleep. For all of us, it’s one of the best ways to ensure we can take on the challenges of the day. As parents, it’s your single greatest friend, and the one to lean on when you’re managing the trials and tribulations (and joys) of raising children.

Have you been getting a good night’s sleep lately? Let us in on your secrets, and share your tips in the comments below!

Tags : motherhood   parents   newborns   new moms   sleep   

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