The quality of my sleep for the past five or so years has been pretty crappy, as I’m sure you can relate. I put the kids to bed around 7:30, they call out for me around 8 complaining of thirst, I get them to go to sleep, then I settle down to work. I get into a rhythm, I get a snack, I knock out a bunch of work. But then my eyes can no longer stay open and I see the clock is inching close to 1 a.m. I sigh and shut down the computer and pass out in the bed.
Inevitably, one of my kids will awake, screaming, at 1 a.m., because they’re hot/too tired/scared/thirsty/have to pee. My husband doesn’t hear them (uh-huh, sure) so I stumble into their room to see what’s wrong. I pass out again. Then wake up at 6.
I am exhausted 99% of the time.
And I don’t know if I can do so much about it, being the mother of two young kids and all. My sleep quality is probably going to average between a C- and an F+ for the next few years. My goal, quite honestly, is to wake up and not immediately want to go back to sleep. I’ve set the bar low. So let’s get on to the challenge:
Day #5 – Sleep like a baby
And by this, obviously I don’t mean wake up every three hours and eat. Although that would be awesome.
Instead, I want us to think about how we put our kids to bed when they are little. Most baby books and pediatricians and wise elders (lol) will tell you to come up with a bedtime routine, something along the lines of a bath, baby massage, breast or bottle, and rocking them to sleep. They’ll come to understand that bedtime is coming and the hope is they will go down without a fight.
But I realize that I am so far from having a bedtime routine that’s laughable. My current routine is to stumble up the stairs and collapse face first on the bed. And I wonder why I’m groggy in the morning.
My new bedtime routine involves:
- Spending 30 minutes to transition from work to bed. No more falling asleep with the laptop on my lap in bed.
- Taking a hot shower before slipping into my PJs.
- Warming up my lotion to give myself a quasi-massage after I get out the shower.
- Keep a good book or magazine on the side table (no textbooks!) to give myself some time to leisurely read.
- When’s the last time you bought new pillows? Been longer than a year? Go get new ones.
- Check out some of these aromatherapy pillow mists. My friend gave me a milk & honey version and it smells heavenly.
- You set an alarm to get up, so why not set an alarm to tell you it’s bedtime? Look at what time you need to get up to be on time in the morning and count back eight hours from that. Set the alarm and try your best to obey it!
Any other suggestions for getting better sleep?