Mamas, we need to chat. I hear you. You’re tired and not getting any sleep because Mommin’ ain’t easy. I’ve got the same issues over here, but I’ve found 7 tips on how to sleep better. And if you can’t get more sleep, here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of limited sleep (because this is basically how I roll!). This post is in partnership with REMFresh and affiliate links are included in this post.
Follow along with me here. I’m going to tell you a little #momlife story, one I have a feeling you’ll relate to.
I have 4 kids- who insist on eating every day and wearing clean clothes. One kid is a freshman in high school (OMG yeah, this is real), one is in middle school (same realness), and two are still in elementary school. They are adorable and my everything, but man… 4 kids are a lot of work when you are talking about raising decent human beings!
MomLife Means Running On Less Sleep Than I Used To
But wait- there’s more!
I have a business and a messy house and a husband and a full-time blog. That messy house is actually a new house, because, of course, we moved in over the holidays. And yes, I know it’s, what, May? And things should be unpacked and put away… but they aren’t.
Why? Because that business I mentioned earlier involves a lot of travel and when you aren’t home, you can’t unpack boxes. It is one of those scientifically impossible realities that I haven’t quite figured out how to overcome. Ha.
Stressful Life Means a Sleepless Night
I find myself a “little” stressed out lately. There’s so much to do and so little time. I know you feel me; this probably sounds a lot like your life too because it is #momlife. Mommin’ really ain’t easy!
Also? Probably like you- when I’m stressed, I don’t sleep. My brain won’t shut off with all the constant to-do lists and “Mom I forgot to tell you but I need” last-minute requests going on in my head. When I don’t sleep, I feel more stressed. It is one of those awful cycles that quickly spin out of control.
And of course, this is nothing new. Since the beginning of Mommy-ing, I think stress and motherhood have just gone together!
So, Mamas, I hear you
You’re tired. All the time tired. And it doesn’t seem like you are getting enough sleep.
It’s been this way since you started having babies. Maybe even before then- but probably got worse once the little ones appear. No matter that the babies are now past the 2 am feedings, you still can’t get enough sleep. We need these tips on how to sleep better.
Mamas, I hear you. Because that’s me. Like 70 million other Americans, I suffer from symptoms of insomnia. You might too- and that’s ok.
You can’t fall asleep, or you can, but then wake up multiple times and struggle to get back to sleep. Does this sound familiar? Holy Mother of Mickey Mouse, it stinks.
You are not alone. You are not alone. You are NOT alone! Hey, sometimes we just need to hear that part, am I right?
7 Tips On How To Sleep Better
So how do we learn how to sleep better? While I know not all of these tips will work for everyone, they help me get the rest my body and my brain so desperately need. And truth be told: my family needs me to get that sleep too. Because a rested Shenanigans is a much nicer Shenanigans.
1. How to Sleep Better: Exercise More
I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. When I don’t exercise (even a quick 15-minute walk is enough for me!) I feel tired and sluggish during the day, but can’t seem to sleep at night. The cycle continues until I force myself to get up and MOVE.
The days I don’t workout or run tend to be the ones that I struggle the most.
Truth bomb: not only do I run so I can go to Disney, I run so that I can get some sleep at night. Running serves many purposes in my life! If only weight loss were one of them…grrr… but I digress.
There’s probably some scientific yadda yadda yadda about why this helps your body get ready to sleep at night, but I don’t know what it is. I do know it works.
Caveat: Don’t exercise too late at night! Because that definitely does the opposite for me. Those endorphins or whatever will keep me up rather than help me sleep if I try to work out too close to bedtime.
2. Prepare Your Room For Better Sleep
This is HUGE. We learned this lesson when we lived in Arizona because the Arizona sun don’t play, folks! We’d have full daylight hit our room by 4:30 am during some times of the year and that does NOT help anyone sleep.
This might be my favorite of the tips on how to sleep better: make your room cool, cozy, and comfortable. Things that help me are blackout curtains, white noise machines, eye mask, and a standing room fan for extra cooling power.
The white noise machine and eye mask (along with earplugs!) go on the road with me when I travel. You never know how loud the hotels are going to be, so I pack like I’m staying near an airport and hope for the best.
Super normal sleeping selfie, right here. But You get the idea. This is how I make sure I get rest while on the road as a TravelingMom.
3. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol (After Noon, Anyway!)
Real talk: this is where I fail the most. I love my coffee and if you catch my Insta Stories, you might notice that recurring theme every morning. Coffee and a margarita here and there are some of my joys in life- I won’t pretend otherwise. But mostly it’s all about the coffee.
Both caffeine and alcohol keep you stimulated, so, and I get it… try to limit the intake. And if you can’t limit your consumption (because: coffee) at least get it all in as early as you can!
4. How to Sleep Better: Put Down The Phone
I’m so guilty of laying in bed scrolling through my feed. And (creeper alert) I’m not alone because I see you guys online too. And we’re all up way too late way too often.
Sometimes I’m legitimately working because see above. Kids, house, business, travel, blog. There are only so many hours to get it all in. But- I’m also a creature of social media habits and I’m often just wasting valuable sleep time.
The blue light from screens are killing your sleep mojo. So put the phones and tablets down, turn off the TV, and pick up a book.
5. Use a Sleep Aid like REMFresh When Needed
This is my power secret when it comes to tips on how to get sleep better. Melatonin is the bomb dot com, y’all! I’ve been using it for years when I need help getting and staying asleep without any side effects in the morning.
REMFresh is a time release melatonin option that is designed to mimic how your body releases melatonin. Taking 1-2 capsules 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster- and stay asleep longer. And you can get it on Amazon – because we get errrrything there. Can I get a HECK YES, moms?
- Clinically Tested*
- Has a 7 Hour Absorption*
- Helps you fall Asleep Faster (or Fast)
- Allows you to stay Asleep Longer
- Improve Sleep Quality
- Wake Up REfreshed
*REM Absorption Kinetics Trial (REMAKT), a pharmacokinetic trial of 5 mg REMfresh, not a sleep study. Peer-reviewed and presented at SLEEP 2017 medical conference.
I traveled to Philadelphia recently for my son’s crew event last week. The hotel was great, but the nerves had set in. For me, not him. Ha! I packed the REMFresh, took a capsule and slept perfectly the night before the race. He did great (a top 10 finish is fabulous for his first year in the sport) and I was calm, cool and rested when the time came to cheer him on.
6. You Sleep Better If You Go To Bed at the Same Time Every Night
I think I need this tattooed on my arm somewhere because I’m a super failure here. It’s either 10 pm or 3 am, no lie. Obviously that 3 am bedtime makes the 7 am wake up a little rough! But like I mentioned, there’s a lot going on and sometimes on a deadline or during peak travel season, I stay up late to get work completed.
Tips for getting more done when you’re running on little sleep include:
- Making a list and crossing off the items as you complete them. And once a task is done, let it go! As my girl Edna Mode says, never look back. It distracts from the now!
- Setting timers for myself for each task. I know how long it should take me to write a blog post or to complete a travel itinerary for a client; so I set the timer and get to work. When that timer goes off, I wrap things up and move on to the next task. Since I’m a little competitive with myself, I tend to play beat the clock and this totally works for me.
- Eat that frog. Ever heard of it? It means you do the thing you LEAST want to do first. I am way more productive the rest of the day if I dive in and get the frog crossed off my list. It takes the weight of that issue off my mind and I’m free to move quickly through the rest of the tasks.
7. Power Naps Might Work For You
Sometimes I’ve found myself so badly in need of sleep that nothing I do seems to help me actually fall asleep. Those are the worst days ever. When those days happen a few times in a row, I take what sleep I can when I can.
And I kinda love taking naps, which is why I added this to my list of how to sleep better. When my babies were little I picked up the power nap; I was all on board that “when they sleep you sleep” train and honestly miss the fact that they don’t nap with me anymore.
Do power naps work? They save me, guys. The secret to the power nap is to do it early enough in the day and short enough (10 to 30 minutes is ideal) to press the reset button. I employ the power nap when I’m working at home, but my favorite time for power naps are when I’m traveling.
Give me a 30-minute nap and I’ll bounce right back and be ready to take on the next hike, kayaking adventure, or museum- swearsies!
With an early power nap, I also find my body ready to fall asleep at bedtime as well. Just make sure you aren’t trying to pull one off too late in the day: that is definitely not on my tips on how to sleep better! It just might sabotage your cycle so really pay attention and plan your power nap accordingly.
I hope you can employ some of these tips on how to better sleep. Moms need sleep to keep order and function in their lives, so don’t skimp on it. And if you find yourself struggling to sleep at night, try some of these suggestions.
Mamas, I hear you. And you are not alone. Let’s get some sleep!
If you’re looking for more Mom Life posts, check these Mom tips out!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)