Life is no picnic for stay-at-home mums. There are no leisurely lunch hours or paid personal days. With dinner to prepare and kids underfoot, the workday never seems to end. Winding down at bedtime is a challenge.
All the experts agree that quality sleep is a top health priority. For one thing, the brain works through a long to-do list while moms are sacked out for the night: “Store memories. Make weighty decisions. Organize random thoughts.”
Here are the bare necessities for drifting off and staying out until morning:
Creating the right environment
The ideal bedroom is cool and dark with a temperature somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees. The mattress should be comfortable and supportive.
A bedroom is more conducive to good sex and sleep if it’s dedicated to those purposes. Computers and TVs are distracting and belong somewhere else.
Sticking to a schedule
Consistently going to bed and getting up at the same time reinforces the body’s natural cycle. When bedtime is always at 10:30 p.m., drowsiness sets in right on time.
Strictly observing the kids’ bedtime
Letting kids draw out bedtime until all hours doesn’t do them or their moms any favors. Firmness is better for everyone’s health, performance and mood the next day.
Slipping Into something more comfortable
Slipping into pajamas an hour or so before lights out paves the way for self-focus and relaxation. Fabletics, for example, makes affordable, relaxed fit, breathable pieces. They’re so versatile that they transition easily from nightclothes to gym clothes to casual street wear.
The temptation to catch up on Facebook or email should be resisted. Electronics are stimulating to the brain. Reading, keeping a journal or listening to soft music is more conducive to sleep.
Avoiding certain foods and beverages
Sugar, caffeine and alcohol are enemies of sleep. Caffeine should be avoided altogether after lunch. Drinking alcohol after dinner may cause drowsiness, but it often disrupts sleep during the night.
Learning to manage stress
For stay-at-home mums, stress piles up right along with the laundry. Having strategies in place for coping with it makes a world of difference in sleep quality.
Staying organized, prioritizing and delegating simple chores to the kids will keep stress at bay. It’s important to get out of the house for exercise, fresh air and sunshine. Even taking deep breaths throughout the day pays off at bedtime.