Hello mamas. Many of us moms have trouble falling asleep. With our days spent running here and there, nighttime offers a precious chance to catch up on email and Internet-type activities. The trouble with this, though, is that being on electronic devices can affect one’s ability to sleep. A mom wrote in telling me she can’t fall asleep and asking for my tips. Today’s video answers her question, offering tips for falling asleep.
1) Get off the electronics and TV one hour before bedtime. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received when I had trouble falling asleep was to get off my iPhone, iPad and away from the TV at least one hour before bedtime. The light coming from these devices, my doctor warned, essentially convinces the brain that it is daytime, precluding the type of “winding down” our brains need to be doing at the end of the day. When I am on my phone too late, I invariably have trouble sleeping. So I do my best to limit screen time before bedtime.
2) Limit caffeine, including chocolate. If you’re sensitive, as I am, coffee or even decaf coffee late in the day (even beginning in the late afternoon) can affect your ability to sleep. I’ve begun to not have anything caffeinated, even decaf coffee — which can have small amounts of caffeine — after around 12 p.m. Also, it’s hard to resist, but that big piece of cake sitting in your fridge might not be the best 10 p.m. snack. Opt for something that isn’t chocolate flavored, and you’ll be better rested the next day.
3) Limit the wine. OK, so now I am getting really depressing, because I just said no TV and no chocolate. Wine, also, can have a negative impact on sleep. I find that when I have more than a glass, I wake up in the middle of the night, likely due to the sugar. Consider sampling other types of alcohol or make a spritzer by mixing wine with club soda, which is a nice refreshing drink with less alcohol content. And when you’re indulging in a bit of wine, try doing so earlier in the evening versus right before bedtime.
4) Nighttime Ritual. One thing that can really contribute to a good night’s sleep is a relaxing nighttime ritual. Try hot milk, a bath, a good book, or some of your favorite magazines. Turn the light down low. Get all your stuff ready for the next day so that your mind is freed up to relax and turn off. Breathe deeply or even do a little stretching.
5) Eat dinner as early as possible, and no later than three hours before bedtime. Recent studies show that when you eat earlier, and give your body more time to digest your food, you sleep better. I began doing this about a year ago and it has really helped. I used to eat with Marc when he got home at 8 or later, but now I eat earlier with the kids, at 5 or 6. This has really helped me sleep better and I fell better the next day too.
I hope these tips will help those of you moms who are having trouble falling asleep and if you’ve got any to contribute, please share below.
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