Southern Mom Loves: 11 Tips to Help You Sleep like a Kid Again!

11 Tips to Help You Sleep like a Kid Again!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

This post is sponsored by the Better Sleep Council. All opinions are my own.

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Did you know that May is Better Sleep Month? It's time to raise awareness about the benefits of better sleep and how sleeping badly can disrupt our lives, so now is the perfect time to do a sleep inventory. Are you sleeping badly, having trouble falling asleep, or waking often, and why?

As parents, it's our job to make sure our kids get a good night's sleep, but what about ourselves? If you're having problems falling or staying asleep, I've got 11 fantastic tips to help you sleep like a kid again!

I want to start this post by saying I consider myself a sleep pro. Sleep is important to me because if I don't get enough, it affects my health and my state of mind. As a mom, I need to be on my best game, and I'm so much happier when I get a good night's sleep. After years of dealing with sleep problems like insomnia, waking constantly, and all of the sleep complications you can possibly imagine due to pregnancy, I have a tip for just about any problem.

Established in 1978 by bedding leaders and sleep experts, the Better Sleep Council’s goal is to help people start every day with a good night’s rest. They are devoted to educating the public about the critical relationship between sleep, good health, and quality of life.

Their site is a hub for all things sleep, including mattress education, sleep tips, research and more. It also contains their blog, where you can find all the secrets to a good night’s sleep, including how to sleep when you’re sick, recipes for better sleep, yoga for sleep and more. You can find all of that information here.

For Better Sleep Month 2019, the Better Sleep Council is promoting the “Sleep Like a Kid” campaign. If you're a parent, you know exactly what that means! They want parents to learn the importance of a good night’s sleep and once again be able to “sleep like a kid”, and I'm here to help!

My daughter has no problems getting a good night's sleep and wakes up a happy girl every day (and yes, I am a little jealous 😉). That is because we, as parents, have instituted rules so that they get a full night's sleep, but why don't we do that for ourselves? We owe it to ourselves to make sure that we get enough uninterrupted sleep to feel good, and if you're having trouble, I've got 11 great tips for you!

1. Block Sounds
When my daughter was a baby, any sound would wake her up. To help her to be able to sleep well, we put a white noise machine in her room. This is something you could do for yourself, as well.

If you live in a place where traffic or other noises might wake you up often, use soft, foam earplugs or a sound machine while you sleep. If you need to be able to hear something, like a baby crying, you can keep it at a low volume.

2. Block Light
This is an easy one and lots of people already have light-blocking curtains in their bedrooms, but if you can't do light-blocking curtains for some reason, an inexpensive sleeping mask will do the trick. You can get a comfortable sleeping mask for just a few dollars and it can keep your partner's bathroom trip or your neighbor's headlights from waking you up at night.

3. Schedule Yourself
We give our kids bedtimes to make sure they get the sleep that they need to perform the next day, so why don't we do this for ourselves? Figure out what time you need to go to bed in order to get your full 8 hours in and stick to it. You can even set a bedtime alarm on your phone to remind you. 🙂

4. Get Back On Track Naturally
If you have trouble getting back on track with a sleeping schedule after a weekend of late nights, you might consider melatonin.

Melatonin can help your body know when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up. The body naturally produces melatonin, producing more when the sun goes down to tell the body to sleep, but there are lots of reasons our internal clocks can be off. You can trick your body into sleep mode by considering taking a melatonin supplement about an hour before bed.

5.  The Bedroom is for...Sleeping
This is a big one, guys. If you continually use your bed as a workspace, your brain can take that as a subliminal cue and help keep you from a good night's sleep.

The same goes for having a TV in the bedroom. If you're having trouble sleeping, you may be tempted to turn it on instead of trying to sleep, which can keep you up even longer. I would also avoid using your phone in bed, for the same reasons.

6. Reduce Blue Light
Speaking of phones, too much exposure at night to the blue light emitted from our devices can disturb the wake and sleep cycle, leading to problems sleeping and even tiredness during the daytime.

For many of your devices, there is a way to reduce blue light by enabling "Night Mode" on your Android devices and "Night Shift" on your Apple devices. You can even set it to start at sunset and end at sunrise in some cases.

7. Unwind
Schedules help you throughout your day. You can schedule a time for yourself to get to bed by, but also schedule some time to unwind first. Going to bed directly after a busy day can keep your head spinning while you're trying to go to sleep. A hot bath or an episode of your favorite show can help calm your mind down enough to fall asleep more easily.

8. Write It Down
If you often have problems, ideas, or "to-dos" running through your head as you fall asleep, keep a notepad by your bed to write them down on. This may help you to let it go and sleep if you're afraid you'll forget them by morning.

9. Get Comfortable
Being too hot or too cold can keep you from falling or staying asleep, and so can uncomfortable or restrictive clothing. Loose or stretchy clothing is best in a fabric and sleeve length appropriate for the season.

Also, think about your bedding. If you tend to wake up hot, layering your bedding might make sense for you. Have a lighter layer of a sheet or light blanket under your heavier comforter so that you can shed a layer easily and go right back to sleep.

10. Pillow Talk
Your pillow can go a long way toward your comfort at night. Look for a pillow density that supports the way you like to sleep. Firmer pillows support back and side sleepers while softer pillows are for stomach sleepers.

If you're waking up with a stiff neck, try a foam pillow contoured to support your neck at a higher level while letting your head lay a little lower. This will help align your neck and spine (always make sure that your spine is straight when sleeping on your pillow!), helping you to get a more restful and comfortable night's sleep.

If you're a hot sleeper who likes a cool pillow, try a gel-lined pillow. It will stay cooler to help you sleep more comfortably.

11. Wake Up Slowly
I don't know about you, but there's nothing that will make me crankier in the morning than being jolted awake, and luckily there are a few really easy solutions these days.

The first is investing in a wake-up light alarm clock that simulates the rising sun to help you wake up slowly and gently. You can plug this in and place it on your bedside table. They can be a little pricey, but there are also free solutions on your phone.

There is a built-in way to set alarms on every phone. Look for a way to have the alarm tone rise in volume slowly to wake you up more gently. If the built-in alarm on your phone doesn't have this option, there are a ton of free and inexpensive apps that do. There are even apps that can slowly simulate a sunrise to help wake you up!

Search the app store for "gentle alarm" or "sunrise alarm".  The only thing about this option is that you have to remember to place your phone by your bed at night and make sure it's charged. Buying a cheapie charging cable just for the bedroom will do the trick.

I hope these tips help you learn how to sleep like a kid again. For even more tips, check out the Better Sleep Council website. Sweet dreams!

Do you have trouble sleeping well? What's the biggest culprit? Will you be using any of these tips? I love to read your comments!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Better Sleep Council.

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