Once upon a time there was a girl named Ali. For 26 years she had all the time in the world to sleep. The availability for naps was endless. She could stay up as late as she wanted and sleep in past eight most days. It was fabulous. It was amazing. It was temporary.
Then one day Ali welcomed a beautiful, energetic, strong willed little girl into the world. She was everything Ali ever dreamed of and so much more. She couldn’t believe how much joy the baby girl brought into her life. She also couldn’t believe how much sleep she was no longer getting.
I must have been told a thousand times to take naps while pregnant. Did I? No. I’ve never been a good sleeper, but I assume (like with most things) if I had worked at it, naps would have eventually come easily. Instead of napping I spent my pregnancy working and preparing for our little babe. In hindsight 99.9% of the things I spent time doing I could have saved for my last month of pregnancy. What I couldn’t give to go back in time and take every single nap that I should have.
For me, the hardest part of motherhood has been the change of sleep. Sleep affects everything! If I’m having a hard time being patient with Scout, it’s from a lack of sleep. If I am crabby and getting frustrated about little things that don’t matter? Lack of sleep. Poor thought life? Lack of sleep. Eating too much? Lack of sleep.
So, I’m trying to find ways to make the most of the time I’m actually asleep. I know that sounds funny but hear me out.
(1) I put away my phone an hour before I go to bed. This has made a HUGE difference. My brain is so much quieter by the time my head hits the pillow if I haven’t been looking at a screen right before trying to sleep.
(2) I don’t fall asleep to the TV anymore. I know it’s bad, but you get so accustomed to background noise that sometimes the quiet is too loud. But, sleeping in a room that isn’t flickering with the TV light has been a big difference maker as well.
(3) Keep the room cool! I have a fan on every night. No matter what the weather is like outside. I keep extra blankets at the ready incase I get really cold, but let me tell you, sleeping in a hot room is miserable! Sleeping in a cool, dark, room with the breeze of the fan? Heaven.
(4) I listen to an audio book before going to sleep. My eyes aren’t sore. My brain isn’t stressing about the things of the day or the things that need to get done tomorrow.
(5) Go to sleep as early as I can! I’m a night owl so this is incredibly hard for me. But the last two weeks I have been making myself be in bed by 9:00. That way I’m asleep by 9:30 or 10 at the latest. I like to be up before Scout because I’m in such a better mood when I get my quiet time in for the day (introvert) before she’s up for the day.
So, those are my tips. It’s not rocket science but this is what has worked for me!