24 Feb How to improve your sleep as a Midlife Mum
It’s one thing being tired, it’s another thing being completely exhausted from night after night of interrupted sleep.
Whether you’re a mother at sixteen or one at forty-six; sleep deprivation should never be underestimated. It’s no joke when you’re living it.
I kinda accepted life on little sleep as I survived the newborn stage. However, I didn’t anticipate bouts of sleepless nights later on in my motherhood journey.
Us Mums tend to be pretty damn good at getting on with things, through thick and thin, but throw a continuous lack of sleep into the mix and it’s often that which finally brings us down.
Not just ‘down’ in terms of our ability to get things done but ‘down’ in terms of our mental wellbeing.
For me, my lack of sleep came mainly from my little people waking up in the dead of night or my husband’s snoring getting worse or both. More recently, I’ve been experiencing the joys of night sweats and difficulty sleeping as I reach that certain stage of life ?
I’ve started to become a little obsessed with how I can improve my sleep and I’m a woman on a mission studying the latest research and listening to podcasts on the very subject. So, here are my condensed learnings for you.
1. Make sure you’re doing the obvious
Yeah yeah yeah. You know it. You’ve heard all about it but are you actually doing it? I mean really doing it. Regularly?
I’m talking ‘bout:
No caffeine, no screen time, no big meal or lots of water right before bedtime.
Don’t complain you’re knackered if you’ve not got your basics in order. This brings me onto number 2 ⬇
2. Arrivederci Alcohol
This is obvious but deserves a section of its own.
Oh the sleepy delights of a big ole glass of chilled Sav Blanc… but, put this, or your G&T down, as the initial drowsiness soon wears off and instead leaves you dehydrated and tossing and turning to get back to sleep. Not to mention how tired your skin will look in the morning…that’s a topic for another day!
3. Get a bedtime routine
It works for the kids and it will work for you.
Go to bed at a similar time each night. Better still keep it going at weekends as it helps you establish a natural sleep and wake-up internal clock system.
Good, so now you’ve also ditched the TV and social media scrolling (see tip 1 ⬆) swap it for a relaxing bedtime activity to help you get to sleep and stay asleep. Whatever takes your fancy and what you’ve got time for. Indulge in some gentle stretching, an essential oils bath, getting into a good book or listening to a guided meditation. And make sure you give yourself enough time each night to do it. Even 5-10 minutes of chill-down time before you drop into bed will work wonders.
4. Mind your mind
Rather than lay in bed worrying about the day ahead and the day just gone, switch right over to positive thoughts.
Easy for me to say but how?
As soon as you catch yourself in this mode of thinking, move to those positive moments that happened to you during the day. Anything from getting the car space you wanted to your child’s loving hug or that stranger who helped you this morning. It doesn’t have to be HUGE but recall those happy moments in the day and have gratitude for them.
5. Keep cool
Wear nightwear that’s breathable, lightweight and cool. You can now buy specific anti-flush clothing designed to help with the menopausal symptoms of hot flushes and night sweats.
Keep the bedroom from being too hot and at a more cooler but not cold temperature.
6. Magic magnesium
Not having enough magnesium in our diet has been linked to sleep problems. Amongst other things, magnesium also promotes a night of deep and restful sleep. So, it’s worth eating foods high in it during the day:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Oily fish
- Raw cacao and dark chocolate – you’re welcome ?
- Whole grains
Or, opt for some good quality magnesium supplements to help you into dreamland each evening.
7. Lavender and lights out
Spray or sprinkle some drops of calm and relaxing lavender essential oil onto your pillow each night. Or rub the oil into your hands for a DIY hand massage and breathe in the soothing aroma.
Well, for now, I wish you a good restful sleep tonight. If you have some night time tricks that help you get better sleep I’d love to hear what you do. Please share in the comments below.