The other day I read an article that talked about how single parents, especially single moms, are the most sleep deprived out of all parenting groups. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Think about everything that goes into parenting but then taking on that role solo. It is a lot! I know from personal experience as I am raising my son on my own. For me, it is the lack of time in one day that I try to fill to the max. Then, when I finally do get to lay my head down I can’t get my thoughts, worries, dreams, reminders to shut down.
I usually head to bed around midnight. Yikes, I know! I have always been a night owl but most of the time I am up working on something or trying to squeeze in one more thing before I drop. This isn’t the healthiest habit especially for a working mother of a very energetic little boy. Children aren’t the only ones that need a good nights rest. Days are happier when you are well rested. Things just seem to run smoother and my thoughts and actions are more organized and in sync. Ok so, sleep is good. That isn’t new knowledge, but how do we as mothers, especially single mothers, get the right amount of sleep each night? Well on those rare occurrences when I decide to make an effort towards getting those 7-8 hours, there are a few things that help me get on my way to a beautiful slumber.
- Save it for tomorrow: I now most people don’t like that phrase, but when it comes to making sleep a priority, some of those daily tasks will just have to wait. And you know what? That’s ok! So let go of the guilt if you leave the dishes in the sink for the night.
- Limit screen time: If you are anything like me you check your email, latest tweets or instagram posts before you truly let your mind rest. This is actually something that could hinder your ability to wind down as quickly as you would like. I have actually tried this out. I will turn off my phone about 30 minutes before I plan to go to bed and the time unplugged really makes a difference. Plus it gives me time to go through some of my random thoughts instead of staring blankly at my phone screen.
- Journal: When you do actually make it to your nighttime sanctuary, how long does it take you to fall asleep? I know I can spend anywhere from 15-45 minutes on average thinking bout the day or the next day or the days 5 years down the line. All of sudden, my best ideas come flowing freely, or my worst fears come creeping in. Whatever it is that keeps your mind racing at night, take some time to write it down. Putting it on paper can give you some clarity and closure. Instead of going over a situation over and over again, write it down and put it to rest, so you can rest!
- Set a bedtime: How many times have you woken up on the couch at some horribly painful hour, only then having to drag yourself to bed. Dozing off on the couch then interrupting your sleep when you realize you should be in bed is the worst. Set a time that will allow you a good night’s rest and stick to it. Now this goes for your kiddos too! Set a bedtime for them that will allow you the time to get what you need done, done. And you are not a bad mom if they need to go to bed an extra 15 minutes early. I know I’ve done it!
- Take a relaxing soak in the tub: *this section contains affiliate links* I couldn’t tell you the last time I took a bath. My time in the bathroom is usually very quick yet efficient. Well, when I think about how relaxed I feel after a cozy scented soak in hot waters surrounded by candlelight, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. It takes up time, that’s why! So maybe a bath isn’t in the cards every night but when you can squeeze one in, go for it or try adding a little aromatherapy to your shower! Yes please! You will sleep better than a baby! Below are a few items that I personally love to use to get the most out of bath time, when I get it!
I do hope some of these tips helped. It is so important that as mothers, we take care of ourselves. We have little ones counting on us. Let’s give them our best by giving the best to ourselves. Making sleep a priority is a decision that you won’t regret and may even wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
What are some other ways you help your self unwind? I would love to hear!