Why Can't I Sleep and How Can I Get to Sleep More Quickly?
There is something that I am very passionate about, and there is no way for me to stress how important this one thing is in my life. And that, mamas, is my sleep. And when things get in the way of me falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting enough sleep, I have serious issues.
And since we're getting pretty much zero alone time these days thanks to the current quarantine situation, getting a good night's rest is more important than ever.
So if you're having a moment like me where I'm trying to find out what's going on and how to fix it when it comes to your sleep, then this one's for you, mama.
Why can't I sleep?
Oftentimes our diet can be to blame when we're talking about our sleep. Depending on how much or how little you've eaten throughout the day, the amount of sugar you've had, or how recent your last dose of caffeine was will change how your body responds to going to bed.
It's no surprise that during this time a lot of mamas are struggling with added stress, anxiety, and even depression. If you already suffer with mental health, then adding in the quarantine crazies will push anyone to lose sleep at night. An over-active mind, inability to prioritize tasks or let go of things we can't control, and a sense of loss for the life that has changed so much in such a short time can all lead to poor mental health.
If you're someone who struggles with chronic pain then you will get this in a real way, but aches and soreness will definitely put off sleep. Generally speaking if you've spend your day on your feet, you've been chasing around babes all day long, you've been working at your computer and staring at screens, or you've been rocking your little one through another tantrum, you're probably dealing with some sort of pain or discomfort in your bod that is putting off getting comfortable.
How can I get to sleep more quickly?
While there isn't a full list of things to avoid that will absolutely get you better sleep (especially considering how different everyone's diet is and any possible restrictions one might have), but there are a few things that you should try to avoid before bedtime: high fat, sugar, caffeine, and spicy or acidic foods. You also want to try and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Getting yourself a water bottle that will keep you hydrated all throughout the day so you're not parched before bed will make your body feel more full (keep from late night snacks) and will keep you from drinking a gallon of agua before bedtime and needing to use the bathroom a bunch before finally falling asleep. No bueno, mamas!
Okay so I'm going to focus this more toward stress and anxiety surrounding our current situation, and a couple of things that you can do to combat that to make your sleep better and help you fall asleep quickly. Taking the time to meditate, plan, and let go is key- get a planner or a calendar and mark it up to get the thoughts out of your head and onto the agenda. Spend a couple of minutes at the beginning and the end of the day to affirm the work you have done and the work you are able to do and accepting that your worth is not dependent on your day. If you need help quieting your mind, something that helps a lot of mamas are Anxiety Relief Zen Drops or Zen Melts from Wink Naturals to help calm the body and the mind. Nothing wrong with a little bit of help to get you to sleep when you need it!
Something that I deal with pretty consistently is restless legs before bed, but I've also been known to have back pain, neck pain, headaches, and overall aches at the end of the night (just ask my husband... okay, actually, don't). But this is something that will often be helped by moving your body throughout the day to relieve that built-up tension in those muscles. Take the dog out for a walk, go biking with the kids, or follow along with a yoga class online. One thing that has helped me a lot before bed is a really good stretch before bed. Unrolling the yoga mat and spending a couple of minutes just rolling out the muscles will help you to fall asleep more quickly with (hopefully) less pain.