‘Somebody help me sleep!’ How many of us have said that lying awake for hours on end, head buzzing, body rigid, overstimulated and exhausted?
There have been many articles written about sleep and how to get good quality sleep. Myself I can turn into a zombie if I have less than 10 hours sleep in two days. I’m strictly an 8 hours per night kind of gal. Overseas trips are an absolute nightmare for me. At the moment with a toddler living in the house and a slightly stressed hubby who isn’t sleeping well either, I’m a little sleep challenged some days.
I came across a Facebook discussion about lack of sleep with well over 100 comments on it. I was absolutely gobsmacked at the small amount of sleep some of the women were having and the effects it was having on them and their families. Many of them were working full time and trying to build a business in the evenings and 3 pm bedtimes were not uncommon. Sadly it is a sign of our times that we have to work so damn hard to produce two incomes and many of these women have chosen to build a business for the flexibility it also gave them with childcare.
One of the really concerning things was the number of times I saw the words sleep deprivation, burnout, adrenal burnout and auto-immune disease. It was scary! It was not good! With both my husband and I experiencing adrenal burnout and depression between us, my heart went out to these women who were giving up much and putting their health at risk to create a better life for their families and a sense of fulfillment for themselves.
I went through all of those comments and pulled out the solutions these real women had found worked for them. So here’s the list. It is of course only some of the things that work for others. You may have your own solutions.
- Use meditation before bed to quieten yourself down.
- Play quiet, soothing music for a short time.
- Read something simple but inspiring (no hardcore do it yourself books)
- Write a to do list before you go to bed, work out your schedule the night before
- Write or journal – get your thoughts down on paper
- Watch something relaxing and non violent on TV
- Have a bath. Use essential oils. Lock the door, leave your phone outside.
- Do not sleep with your phone in your bedroom.
- No ‘screens’ half hour before bed.
- Notepad by the bed to write down any last minute thoughts or ideas
- Use black out curtains in your bedroom
- Use a natural sleep remedy such as GoHealthy Fast Asleep, Sleep Drops or Rescue Remedy (please check with your doctor before mixing natural supplements with prescribed medications).
- Reduce your sugar and caffeine intake.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol before bed. It can be dehydrating and make you pee during the night.
- Go to bed before your partner if that helps you to get to sleep better.
- Have a warm milk drink.
In terms of your ‘work’, scheduling and self care, they had these solutions:
- Have as healthier diet as possible. It really does affect your sleep because your body gets the right nutrients to do that.
- Outsource what chores or work tasks you can afford to.
- Let go of what’s not important.
- Make sure you are having mini breaks and some fresh air during the day.
- If possible work to your body clock.
- Revisit how you spend your time and why.
- Redefine what successful looks like.
I want to comment briefly on this last one. There were about four women who with their partners, had opted to trim their lifestyle to fit one or one and a half incomes. They had counted the cost and found it too high.There is so much pressure to have the latest thing, the latest toys, the travel, the big family holidays, the nice new house and up to date furniture, and the kids attending an after-school activity every day. There are many subtle messages out there that tell us what success looks like.
I’m going to ask a quite blunt question now? Are you killing yourself with overwork and lack of sleep to pay luxury bills? If you had cheaper holidays, no Netflix, no Skye, a smaller phone, a second hand car, a second hand house how much less pressure would that be financially and on the need to work long hours. Please don’t get offended, I’m well aware that many of us have to work to make ends meet. But let’s ask ourselves what ‘ends’ are we trying to make meet?
Your health and family are important and as women we push on and push through and pay the price – that’s what we do. In the long run though that price can be horrendous. So please take care of yourself. Please try and get us much sleep as you need. Make the changes you need to. Reprioritise the things you do and the things you are working towards if you have to. Your kids will be happier with a less stressed mum. Perhaps you have been through this and have some tips to share with us. I’d love it if you would pop them in a comment below.
Do you enjoy being part of an online community? Join us at Spirited Women.
P.S. You’ve had enough and want to revisit your time expense priorities and values. This 5 day challenge plus video and workbook will help you re-establish what is important to you and your family.