Thinking about all the factors that can ruin a good night's sleep is enough to keep any WAHM up until dawn. Between meetings, events and the seemingly endless needs of work and family, too little sleep has been shown to result in reduced productivity and an increase in mistakes. My unofficial, unscientific “friends” survey determined that almost everyone has suffered through restless nights; and we also heard about a lot of good (and not so good) strategies for creating the optimal conditions for a good night’s rest.
Having suffered through more than a few nights of tossing, turning and 4 am catastrophizing, we have compiled our favorite tips.
1. Your Bedroom Is for Sleeping – NO WORK ALLOWED.
For WAHMs, creating separation is always a challenge. The lines separating family life from work life become blurred when it all happens at home. Our first tip is to start thinking of your bedroom as your relaxing, quiet sanctuary where worries related to work and home life are strictly prohibited. That means no working in bed, texting with colleagues, or even catching up on episodes of Dance Moms. By creating a dedicated space for rest, you will begin to subconsciously associate your bed with sleep and not the other things that keep you up at night.
It is important to manage the space and make sure distracting items do not find their way into your sanctuary. WAHM.com has written before about avoiding television in the bedroom. Now that everyone has a smartphone, we would take that one step further and recommend that your bedroom become a NO PHONE ZONE. From our research, we can assure you that there is an alarm clock out there for every budget and style. This is the hardest of all of our recommendations to follow, but creating that separation will change your life for the better.
2. Give Your Body A Boost
You already eat healthy, but that is no guarantee that you are getting the right mix of nutrients or that your body is producing enough of what you need for a good night's sleep. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps your body gauge when it is time to sleep. It is an essential component that regulates your circadian rhythm, your internal biological clock that helps prepare your body for the different phases of the day. Night is one of those phases, which is why most of us tend to feel sleepy and night and energized during the day. However, modern life can interfere with our circadian rhythms causing us to feel energized at night and sleepy during the day.
Instasleep Mint Melts has made it easier with a quick melt tablet to assist your body to fall asleep. They contain not just melatonin, but also GABA and 5HTP (two additional natural ingredients), and they dissolve in your mouth without water. Adding a non-habit forming, drug-free, mint flavored tablet was an easy way for us to integrate into our work from home adventures.
3. Practice Mindful Breathing
When you are stressed - and let’s be real every WAHM I know is pretty regularly stressed - it affects your mind and your body. Anxiety works against your body when you need to rest, increasing your heart rate and breathing and sending hormones racing through your bloodstream. A great way to combat anxiety without medicine is to practice mindful breathing, a practice similar to meditation but without the spiritual growth and transcending emotions – what’s left if the sense of calm. Deep breathing before bed will help your body naturally slow down. The practice can be as simple as inhaling deeply through your nose for four seconds, holding your breathe for seven seconds and finally exhaling through your mouth for eight seconds. Do this for a few rounds of to slow your body down.
A healthy sleep routine will not only make you feel better during the day, but it will also improve your productivity. Working from home has many advantages, but if you don’t create separation and develop healthy sleep practices, you won’t be ready when it’s time to juggle the day’s activities.