September 20th, 2022
It’s really easy to overlook our sleep as parents when we are focused on making sure our little ones are taken care of. While the annoying reality remains that we have little control over sleep in general, there are things we can do to make sleep come easier for the whole family.
Before you consider making changes to your child’s sleep, it can be very helpful to optimize your own sleep. Here are a few of my favorite tips…
What are you eating? While fad diets certainly aren’t lacking in popularity, it’s pretty baffling how quickly we can let our nutritional needs go by the waste side when things get busy. Making sure parents are getting enough high quality foods is a must for handling the day-to-day and getting a restful night’s sleep. When your beautiful body runs smoother, so does everything else.
Depending on where in the world you live, sourcing high quality food can take a little more effort than we think. It’s not enough anymore to grab a salad from the nearest fast food drive-thru. The quality of food that is allowed in conventional restaurants and grocery stores in America is single handedly lowering our quality of life. Most of us are so accustomed to it, that we aren’t noticing the effects on our bodies.
Spend some time cleaning out your fridge and pantry, paying close attention to sneaky sugars and seed oils that plague nearly every premade food you can buy, organic and “clean” looking options included.
Focusing on organic whole, real foods, with plenty of pastured, or fresh caught animal fats will keep you satiated, and keep your nervous system calm and happy. A body that doesn’t have to focus extra energy on digesting and assimilating food can find deeper sleep, leading to a much better quality of sleep.
The sun is medicine. Getting the whole family out in early day sun is good for every cell in your body. Our bodies are designed to get sun in the morning, afternoon and evening. Natural light also plays a key role in regulating our circadian rhythm. Getting as much natural light on your bare skin, and sunglass free face during the day will optimize your hormones, making you sleepy at the right time.
Limiting artificial light 1-2 hours before bed and after sunset helps your nervous system calm down and get ready for sleep. Dimming lights, wearing blue light blocking glasses, red light bulbs and turning your electronics off or in airplane mode are tremendously helpful tools in getting a better night’s rest.
Turning wi-fi off at night can also be very helpful, as EMFs can disrupt sleep.
Last but not least… that looming to-do list
Yup I’m going there – chances are you’re doing too much. Now before you huff and puff and tell me to take a hike, I get it!! I’m a recovering busy person, and truth be told, I like being “busy”. It gives me momentum to keep going and tackle both work and family life. However, enough is enough and it turns out less can truly be more. There are countless books on the subject. One of my favorites is, Do Less, by Kate Northrup. She cites countless instances where focusing on less actually enables you to be more productive.
At the very least try this – aim to have your busy work accomplished at the beginning of the day. Everyone is more fresh and ready to tackle the day in the morning. Also, when there is an end in sight, you’ll be less likely to get overwhelmed and burned out, which is how you accomplish more by focusing on less. You’ll see what I mean! 😉
By making your day front loaded, your body will be able to relax more during bedtime routines, and there’s nothing more likely to make a child’s bedtime more smooth than a chill mama.
There you have it – my favorite tips for a restful night sleep for YOU – which believe it or not is a main ingredient for restful night’s sleep for your babe.