Updated: Sep 5, 2019
This is not sponsored in any way - just a product I really like!
Since becoming a mom, the biggest struggle in my life has been sleep. Currently, healthcare providers campaign hard for breastfeeding as the most healthful, convenient, and economical way to feed your baby. And though I truly believe it is, exclusively breastfeeding still comes at a cost. It meant I was the only person who could fill that little tummy - and at the beginning that tummy was so little that it needed to be filled every 2-3 hours.
After several months, I became accustomed to broken sleep, but that too, has a cost. As I mentioned in my last post, my memory, concentration, and mental health have all suffered. I even developed insomnia - at times when the baby didn't need me and I could be sleeping, I could not fall asleep for hours, despite my exhaustion.
When my daughter was six months old, my doctor told me I didn't need to feed her at night any more, and that I should work on my "sleep hygiene".
I have been using the Calm app for meditations and sleep stories for quite some time, and have really come to depend on it. Today I received an email from Calm with a whole workbook for improving sleep. Here are a few of the suggestions from Calm that I have taken to heart:
Listening to a Sleep Story
Listening to relaxing music
Dimming the lights as you wind down for the night
Avoiding screens & blue light before bed
Using a sleep mask and/or blackout curtains. Darkness is a powerful cue for your body.
Drinking decaffeinated tea before bed
A clutter-free bedroom
Keeping a notebook by your bed to empty thoughts and to-do list onto paper so that you can rest your mind
Cooler temperatures in the bedroom
A set bedtime - going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time improves your circadian rhythm, which can make it easier to fall asleep and ensure that you get enough each night.
As you can see, many of these suggestions contribute to a cozy, relaxing sleep environment. Turning off the tv early and curling up in a dim, clutter free spot with a book or journal and a cup of tea sounds like, well, just what the doctor ordered.
Will you try any of these suggestions for improving your sleep? Find Calm's sleep workbook and more here.