How can we encourage better sleep patterns for those of us juggling multiple roles as parents? The fact that I have had poor sleeping habits lately would be THE understatement of 2020. HOWEVER, I am making a conscious effort to create better patterns, and we all have to start somewhere, right? The stress and anxiety that comes along with the pandemic has made it difficult to relax at night. Like so many of you, my mind starts to spin at night, and I put pressure on myself to get everything done before my head hits the pillow.
Being a mother for nearly a decade now has completely disrupted my circadium rhythm. Between multiple pregnancies, sleep training babies, sick children, late night laundry for twin babies (fun times), and the usual run of the day “planning” for the following day – life is chaotic, and curveballs are thrown our way that can often change our sleep patterns for long periods of time.
I have recently made a promise to myself to unwind in more ways than just a skin regimen at night. Why am I doing this? Not only will it help prevent my skin from puffiness, dark circles, etcetera etcetera… but it will allow me to be the best version of myself during the day. Natural supplements, warm baths, essential oils, and meditation are all slowly making their way back into my evening routine. I created a list of ten ways to help encourage better sleep patterns.
Ten Ways to Encourage Better Sleep Patterns
Wash your face and apply soothing skincare: This wouldn’t be a skincare blog if I didn’t begin with one of the most important parts of anyone’s evening routing. Washing your face before bed is the number one cardinal rule. When you go to bed with a clean, fresh face, it sets the tone for a peaceful night. After your skin regimen of serums and cremes, I love Using Beauty Bio’s The Radiance. It has rosehip seed oil, which instantly helps decrease stress and promote relaxation. Beauty Bio’s Rose Quartz roller is another tool that be used during your skincare routine or later when laying bed. The cold touch of the stone calms both my skin and nerves. Additionally, it can help with sinus pressure relief and lymphatic drainage. Keep this baby by your bedside…you won’t regret it
Adios, devices: The toughest one to break this year: putting the phone down at night. Whether it is catching up on work, checking teacher emails for school the next day, or making sure you hit all of the cyber Monday deals you had to have, it can be toxic. This is sometimes the biggest struggle, but also the most rewarding when I follow my own rules. The blue light will keep your mind racing and prohibit your circadian rhythm from doing its job.
p.s. If you’re reading this past 10:00 pm, you may be already breaking this rule
Cut the sugar at night: I’m not even going to lie here and say I don’t eat sugar at night, because I am absolutely guilty of it many nights! I am a stress eater and tend to grab something sweet, then sour, then back to sweet late at night. I know, I know….I’m preaching wellness here, and I’m not following my own rules. But I’m honest! It is something I am cognizant of, and I know very well that when I cut sugar past 7pm, I am able to fall asleep on my own much easier. I am a work in progress here, people..lol!!
CBD and other Natural Supplements: Using Sagely Naturals CBD & Melatonin Drift and Dream capsules has helped my sleep patterns tremendously. The capsules help me STAY asleep, which is sometimes the hardest part. This particular brand is comprised of CBD, Melatonin, GABA, 5-HTp, and several other plant- based ingredients. Additionally, I ingest a variety of other natural supplements everyday. I have found significant advantages from taking Stress Reducing and Deep Sleep inducing supplements, to Hemp Oil capsules that help with both stress and digestion.
Silk Pillowcase: Using a silk pillowcase is not only essential for my skin and hair, but it also feels SO much more relaxing and doesn’t absorb as much bacteria and sweat from my face as a cotton pillowcase does. I love the Slip silk pillowcase. Worthwhile upgrade recommendation here!
Warm bath and essential oils: Warm baths with essential oils seem to relax my entire body before bed. My muscles can unwind from lugging the kids around all day, and my mind is able to drift away from the day’s stresses. Spraying essential oils such as lavender or frankincense on my pillowcase allows me to breathe in the sleep inducing aroma as my head hits the pillow. It reminds me of a spa, and these days, I’ll take the closest thing I can get! A wonderful and very cost effective brand is Made by Cooper Sleepy Head. They have a variety of bath salts, room and pillow sleep sprays, face mists, etc.
Ear Plugs: No judgment here, k? Ear plugs are life changing! I never thought I could ever pop in an ear plug again in my life after having kids, but the last couple months I put at least one ear plug in and told my hubs to wake me if necessary. I am such a light sleeper, and I hear everything! This makes a huge difference in keeping me asleep!
Pour yourself a glass: Not necessarily doctor recommended, but the occasional glass of wine is so helpful, especially with the chaos that comes along with virtual school and/or working from home during a pandemic. I find that even half a glass can take the edge off and allow my mind to calm down. However, it is best to do this several hours before you actually get in bed for the night.
Meditation: I am new to meditation again, but when I practice it, I can’t get enough of it. I have always been a night owl for as long as I can remember, so learning to slow down and bring myself to a calm state is a necessary activity at night. There are several apps such as Calm and Ten Percent Happier that can help you get started.
Let’s get physical: staying physically active during the day is huge for your body’s ability to determine the time to wind down. Studies have shown exercise helps decrease anxiety and produce a positive mindset. Walking or biking outside or doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity is recommended for establishing stabilized sleep patterns. I have and will never advertise myself as a fitness guru, but I do know personally that releasing the endorphins from exercise is a contributing factor to good sleep.
Bonus Tip for Promoting Sleep
Just get in bed!: This could be the most important of them all! A self-proclaimed night owl, I have not been completely successful in this area yet. But, my goal is to get myself into bed to relax at the SAME time every night (that means no phone, lists for the next day can wait, and no starting a brand new Netflix series late at night). Setting a schedule will help my circadium rhythm get back on track and allow my body to adjust to a program. The goal is to fall asleep and wake up at the same time to create consistent sleep patterns.