THE SLEEP DEPRIVED MOM – FROM EXHAUSTED TO FULLY RESTED AND IN CONTROL.
Finally work is over and it’s time to focus on my motherly tasks. You know, the whole: homework, dinner, baths, pack lunch, take out clothes and sex (haha he wishes) schedule.
No wonder moms are exhausted after tackling the after work procedure. Yes, it is like preparing for surgery. You must not forget to do something, or it would make your life much harder. Then after your long, exhausting day, you are supposed to just fall asleep. Simple, right?
But instead of going straight to bed – like my husband who falls asleep in literally 5mins – I am left staring into the dark telling myself to sleep. And now that I’m pregnant staying asleep has become as complicated as going to sleep.
Can you relate to the struggle of:
– tossing and turning,
– heavy kicks,
– Braxton Hicks,
– midnight runs to the bathroom,
– heartburn and
– ‘oh I’m so thirsty I’m going to die’?
Did I mention my daughter having nightmares, or needing to go to the potty too?
And if you already have an infant it’s twice as bad. Mom, I understand. I fear the return of that stage. **Crying
Sleep deprived mom
The truth is sleep deprivation can have so many effects on your physical, mental and emotional health that taking care of yourself is a must. To my postpartum mothers: we have to gain control, understand our triggers and empower ourselves.
I never want to return to the spiral of yelling, irritability, and anxiety driven mood. I want to get in front of the issue, organize and plan.
Then return to work as a functional working mom.
I don’t want to be a mom-zombie. Anyone ready to make the change with me today?
I’ve educated myself on the signs and symptoms of being tired. Below are helpful ways a working mom can stay motivated and productive by removing the number one culprit: sleep deprivation. It has worked wonders for me so use these tips to get some sleep.
The first step to dealing with sleep deprivation is restructuring priorities to allow adequate sleep. – Peter Johnson
With these strategies and tools, you are going from being exhausted to coming out entirely rested and in control.
What happens if you get less than 7 hours of sleep, mom?
CDC.gov breaks down how much sleep is needed by age. For adults that average falls between 7-8 hours of sleep at night. If you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, you will begin to experience adverse side effects.
|Irritable||Tired||Stressed||Decreased immune system|
|Poor decision making||Forgetful||Aggravated||Yelling|
|Lack of energy||Lack of focus||Anxious||Depressed|
|No motivation||No innovation||Lack of inspiration||Drained|
Do any of these sound familiar?
Yes, an occasional lousy sleep may not affect your mood, but eventually, the side effects worsen. So, to tackle sleep deprivation you need to identify where you are and what areas need to be fixed.
9 effective sleep tips to start today so you can have a better sleep tomorrow.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Get your thoughts out the night before
I have to use the brain dump method at least once a week so that I can get all my thoughts out. It’s a wonderful feeling to be clear, free and relaxed.
The working mom brain dump is created in categories so you can jot down your extensive to-do list in the right section.
Being a working mom brings extreme demands and project end dates so I love that there’s a section just for work.
Find out what your stressors are and prepare at night
There is nothing worse than thinking about the things that need to be completed in the morning while you are trying to sleep. To ensure I can sleep until the last minute, I take care of everything at night.
I begin by packing lunches, have the kids set out the clothes for the next day and take showers. Then I get anything work-related (computer, badge, etc.) near the front door. My keys are always hung behind the door, ready to be grabbed. To make my life even easier I do my daughter’s hair at the beginning of the week. I try to be prepared as much as possible!
Want to check out my entire routine? See the best Nighttime routine for simple mornings.
Schedule time to relax throughout the day
Taking mental breaks throughout the day will elevate the exhaustion. For example, instead of going out for lunch or chatting with co-workers in the break room, take a nap. You don’t need to take the entire break to rest – if you have an hour for lunch, then take 45 mins.
If all you can fit in is a 15 mins short nap, then so be it. Sleep.
If you’re like me and trying to get to sleep alone takes 15 mins, then merely resting your overworked mom brain is good enough. Set a timer for 15, 20, or 30 minutes and take a mental break.
If you really want to get fancy then schedule one day to yourself. If you’re tired, chances are your spouse is too, so use those negotiation powers to get what you want. My husband gets time to himself on a Saturday for several hours and in return, I get a Sunday all alone. Win-win.
Alternatively, you can reach out to your friend that also has children and swap on the weekends. That way she can get a much needed a break and so can you.
Get a sleep routine that actually works
It’s not only kids that need a nighttime routine. Find out what works and stick to it.
My nighttime routine consist of taking a hot bath or shower (yes, there is usually a kid with me, but let’s focus on the good part), with my stress relief soap and bath salt.
If I’m sore then I practice bed yoga, light my candle and wind down. It’s perfectly reasonable to include the kids since they are always around and need to wind down as well.
Practicing yoga or exercising can make you more energetic so don’t do it if you feel wired afterward. For me exercising at night stimulates me but yoga is fine. Learn what’s best for you and stick to it.
Also, we make sure the kids are in bed by 9 which leaves us 30 mins to ourselves to end the not so perfect night.
Don’t push yourself too hard
Stop saying yes to every task and overcommitting yourself. Instead of running errands, heading to PTA meeting or catching up with that friend you said yes too, TAKE A NAP.
It’s totally normal to ask for help or even hire help. It will get the job done which puts less demand on you.
One more important thing: accept help. Most people deny support either because they don’t want to feel like a “bad mom,” or they are controlling. The next time someone offers to help in any way, press your lip together and say,“Yes that would be great, thanks!”
Get rid of bad habits that keep you up at night
Be honest: you are obsessed with your phone. You don’t want to admit that when you have a notification you check the phone immediately and you love browsing Pinterest. Yes, Pinterest is awesome and addicting but you have to take a break. Can you put your phone down at 8 and not touch it until the morning?
Can you wind down at night without the television?
This is a hard one: not drinking caffeine after 2 pm. The last thing you need it to be tired but unable to sleep.
Organize your life so you can prioritize what important.
Organization is an essential key to getting your life the way you want it. When I speak about organization I am not only talking about the house. I am also referring to your finance, schedule, and goals. I don’t want you to have trouble sleeping because you are continuously thinking about your bills or career. Make goals and work towards them.
For goal setting strategies that I can vouch work like a charm read A step by step guide to setting goals + free workbook. Thank me later.
If you are looking to get really organized check out the planner for moms and get your life together with MomAgenda.
Invest in a relaxing environment
How is your sleep environment? My husband bought me a bed topper and down comforter that would make anyone fall asleep like a baby. It’s as if I’m on clouds with warm cuddling around me.
Candles are a great way to get relaxed because the aroma enters your body and release tension. My favorite candle is sweater and bamboo.
Yogi tea makes this wonderful tea for stress and sleep. Add a good detox tea too if you need to remove harmful toxins from your body.
Read a good book or write in a journal. There is nothing more relaxing then showing gratitude, praying or meditating.
Either invest in good sleep glasses or a blackout curtain. I don’t know how anyone gets to sleep when there is light shining in through the window.
Work on a real work-life balance.
In real life, getting everything off your to-do list is impossible.
In real life, every time you take a step forward you take two steps back.
In real life, you clean the house in the morning, but by night it looks like no one touched it.
So I want you to stop trying to complete so many chores when you get home. Stop trying to stay on top of EVERYTHING. Comparing yourself to others when you don’t even know their struggles.
Instead, I want you to pick the most crucial task like cooking, homework, prep and move on to your nighttime routine. Get something done and pat yourself on the back.
Related: 8 ways to succeed as a working mom.