Sleep Deeper: Tips for Better Sleep

By Jenny Steadman November 14, 2014

As parents, our own sleep is not usually at the top of our to-do list. We spent so much energy keeping our kids on schedules, making sure they sleep enough and at the right times yet, we don't think to do it for ourselves. 

Our kids need naps and early bed times. Sleep gives their little bodies an opportunity to grow. It helps their brains make connections. It fights off infections and puts them in a good mood! The kids aren't the only ones who need a schedule. We do, too!

We may not be growing any more, but our brains and bodies need nourishment and rest. Sleep helps us think better, lowers our stress levels, helps manage our appetites and keeps us from getting (too) sick. 

Here are some tips to help you get better sleep:

  • Keep a consistent schedule. Figure out what time your body likes to go to sleep and wake up naturally. I have found if I go to bed at 10 p.m. for a few nights in a row, I wake up well-rested at 6 a.m. and have a great day! This isn't always possible but I shoot for it every night. Consistency is key. Shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Don't drink caffeine after lunch time. Caffeine in the system makes it hard to fall asleep. This goes for coffee, tea and soft drinks. We all have our own caffeine tolerance. Make sure you know yours.
  • Don't drink too much alcohol before bed. You may go to sleep easily but, when the alcohol leaves your system, it affects your serotonin levels which wakes you up and keeps you up. Then you need all of that caffeine in the morning. It is a vicious cycle.
  • Don't drink too much water after dinner. If you are someone who has to get up and pee in the middle of the night, try and curb this by drinking most of your liquids earlier in the day and not too close to bed time.
  • Drink something warm. Going against all of the other drinking advice above, if you are having trouble getting to sleep, try some warm chamomile tea or warm milk. Warmth makes us feel sleepy and cozy! Especially as the days are getting colder.

What are your favorite tactics for keeping your body rested?