Have trouble sleeping? Need some quick sleeping tricks to get a good night’s rest?
I started sleeping poorly at around nine. No, there was nothing drastic that happened in my life – it’s just the age that I can remember back to not sleeping well. Over the last 18 years (you do that math), I tested and figured out some tips to improve my sleep.
I’m not going to pretend like these 13 sleeping tricks are some cure-all. They’re not. But, I’ve gone from nearly being an insomniac to sleeping really well about 90% of time. And that’s a stat I can live with!
I don’t have one of those businesses where if I don’t sleep I can still do a good (or even a decent) job. Nope. My clients hire me for my creative and strategic insight, and that requires a sharp brain.
Check out my 13 Sweet Tricks for Moms Who Can’t Sleep -
Yes, I wear these sexy bad boys every single night. In fact, I can’t sleep without them! And if you woke up at 3 am because someone shut their car door two streets down, you would too! I discovered that you can get small ear plugs for side sleepers and this has made sleeping more comfy.
2. Kids Mattress
You might think I’m crazy, but it was a Ph.D. child’s psychologist who suggested this gem. Our daughter still gets scared in the middle of the night. And, unfortunately, it looks like she may have inherited her mother’s sleep problems (I blame this on my father who only sleeps on average four hours a night). Rather than having to get out of bed and walk her back to her own bedroom and tuck her in and assure her that the storms will pass us by, she just flips down a toddler size mattress that hangs out in our room (awesome decor, I know), puts a blanket down and goes night-night. No need to disturb mom and dad!
3. No TV
A few years back I asked my husband if he would be okay if we ditched the TV in our bedroom. I mean – who really needs more than one TV in their entire house anyway? Gross. I USED to think that I needed the TV to sleep, but that actually doesn’t work for me. It wakes me up throughout the night. I would wake up with my head chattering at me and sometimes, I would just start watching a program in the middle of the night. I can’t tell you the peace and serenity that comes from going to sleep and waking up to the birds chirping and sun rising. Try it! I promise you’ll never go back.
4. Water only after 6pm
Okay, I’m kind of a caffeine hog. I’m not proud of it. But at least it’s primarily tea instead of soda. Trouble is, I have this micro bladder that loves to wake me up in the middle of the night. And, while I still make one trip to the bathroom each night, this prevents me from five.
5. Eat like you’re trying to get a senior discount
If I eat too late, I end up getting energy surges. BAD IDEA for a gal who is sensitive to stimulation. Our family eats supper between 5:00-6pm every night. We’re totally ready for the “early bird” senior discount about 34 years early.
6. No greasy or heavy foods
So, I also tend to have a sensitive stomach. I avoid grease and heavy foods (including major grains, carbs and all dairy) otherwise I will be a sick mess. If I eat crap during the day, I don’t sleep well at night. Try monitoring what you eat and eating fresh fruits, veggies and healthy organic meats a few times a week. You’ll be snoozing like a hibernating bear in no time.
7. Get up earlier and skip your naps
I’m not a nap girl. If I’m taking a nap you know it’s because I’m probably REALLY ILL, which rarely happens. If I take a nap, it screws up my ENTIRE sleep cycle, so if I’m tired that day – I’m tired. I just go to bed earlier and get up earlier. Right now, I’m training myself to get up at 5:30am. I just love getting an early start on my day. I get SO much done in the quiet of the morning because 1) I have no phone calls and 2) I have no emails.
8. Turn the air down
In the summer, we keep our thermostat pretty high during the day – around 78 degrees. People visit and complain it’s warm, but we’re used to it. And besides, overly air-conditioned environments gross me out. During the night, however, I can’t sleep comfortably if I’m hot, so we crank the air conditioner down to prevent night sweats and an angry mommy.
9. Exercise a few hours before bedtime
On days I work out, it’s pretty simple – I sleep harder and deeper. I don’t need to tell you this works. Just ask any nutritionist, doctor, trainer or shrink. But don’t do this right before bed because you’ll likely end up with an energy surge. Exercising a few hours before bed makes your temperature rise and as you cool down, this oftentimes makes you more relaxed. I just feel pooped and I’m ready for dream land.
10. No phone or computer at night – it stimulates your brain!
The light from phones and computers actually causes your brain to become stimulated. Plus, about the last thing I want to do right before trying to head to my awesome dream land is be returning an email. I put my phone and computer up a few hours before bedtime. I’ve come to learn something over the years – almost all of my clients’ needs are deemed by them as “urgent,” and the truth is they are RARELY “urgent.” I NEED to disconnect from all the tweeting and texting. I need the time to re-group and creatively re-charge. You can’t do that if you’re connected 24/7.
11. Read a boring book
Okay, that’s kind of a joke. But I have a stack of books on my nightstand that I can only read a page or two before suddenly feeling overwhelming tired. I’m yawning just thinking about them. : ) When I started to read the Twilight series I was up all night, so I don’t recommend having a really juicy novel next to your pillow. Pick something in the realm of The History of Iceland or Corporate Finance. It’ll put you to sleep in no time flat!
12. Meditation and Visualization
Right before heading night-night, I close my eyes and either take a series of deep and relaxing breaths visualizing my goals OR I listen to a meditation program like Holosync, Om Harmonics or Silva. They help me wind down and relax. Plus, meditation has all sorts of additional health benefits.
13. Prayer and Gratitude to Combat “Big Deals”
I’ve made prayer and saying “Thank You,” a great habit, so if I skip doing it, I just don’t feel right. I like to end my day thinking of all the things I’m grateful for. It keeps my head from spinning about not having reached my goals YET or for making big deal out a small issue. It helps me to keep things in perspective and in a positive place.
So, that’s my list. What are your mommy sleeping tricks? I’d love to hear what you do. Sweet dreams!