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Time for another wellness challenge! I love challenging myself to work on one of my weakness every month. I hope you are able to walk away from these posts with some thoughts on how to improve your own personal life. We all need a little kick start some times. And it helps to hear a friendly reminder to take care of ourselves, not just our family. This month’s challenge is to get enough sleep every night!
As a mom, I spend almost every night trying to get my kids to sleep at a decent hour. I know how important it is for their development, growth, and behavior. My kids will call me the sleep police because I am pretty strict about bed time. But ever since reading the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child when the boys were young, I have made it my mission to ensure the kids get plenty of sleep every night!
That’s why I feel like a big hypocrite when I don’t make myself go to bed at a decent hour!
So this month, I am challenging myself to get 8 hours of sleep a night! Of course, there will be exceptions on busy nights out or on vacation, but in general my new rule is to be in bed by 10 PM every night.
Why 10 PM? Because in order to get myself and the kids ready for school and out the door on time, I need to get up at 6 AM. I recently posted about my 5 morning habits that make the rest of the day a little easier. This routine is important to me and helps me start the day out on the right foot.
I know it will be hard to get in bed by 10. Often, I feel like whenever I get in bed early I am giving up some of my “free” time. Or my “me” time. Once the boys are in bed and they are actually asleep, then I have time for myself or time to spend with my husband. I look forward to this special part of the day. Self care is important too! (I smell another wellness challenge!)
But instead of looking at going to bed early, as losing out on time for myself, I’m going to view the extra sleep as a different form of self care.
Science claims that getting enough sleep helps improve our overall health. Sleeping enough will strengthen our attention, lower stress, lessen inflammation, and help us lose weight! Win! You can read more about the health benefits of sleep in this article from Health Magazine.
As I get older, I realize the effects of aging and I want to be around for my boys as long as possible, so making small steps in improving my overall health is worth it! Getting enough sleep every night is an easy step that I can do to help me reach that goal!
Your challenge this month is to make sure you get enough sleep every night. I am aiming for 8 hours, but that may not be best for you. Maybe 7 is enough sleep? Maybe 9 hours? Pick a bedtime and stick to it! It will be hard to turn off the TV or set down your phone, but after a few nights early bedtime will get a little easier. And don’t get mad at yourself if you fail one night. Just start over again the next day. Hopefully you will start to feel better and see an improvement in your health, this will also make getting in bed at night less of a chore.
If you have trouble falling asleep every night try creating a simple bed time routine, similar to the kids. When they were babies it was bath, books, and then bed. I love the thought of this routine:)
Reading at night always makes me sleepy so I’m hoping to add reading to my evening schedule. It seems like no matter how interesting the book is, I always fall asleep if I am trying to read at night.
This challenge is about getting enough sleep at night, but going to bed at a decent hour isn’t the only problem. Sometimes falling asleep or staying asleep is difficult, especially if you have kids!
A tip you could try is to buy a sleep mask. I have been sleeping with a mask every night for years now. Yes I look a bit silly, but for me the mask has really helped my sleep. I am a light sleeper so any distractions in the room will wake me up! Think the little green light on my smoke detector, or the blue glow from my cable box. With a mask those little lights can’t bother me, and I am able to sleep better all night long.
If light doesn’t bother you, but noise is a problem, then try using a sound machine to block it out. Sleep Pillow Sounds is a free app for your phone that creates a relaxing environment and will help diffuse excess noise.
As far as keeping the kids from waking you up at night, well I haven’t figured that one out yet! But if anyone has some great tips please leave them in the comments below. I will say that, the older my boys get the less they wake me up at night. It seems like children just grow out of the night waking phase. Maybe time solves that problem:)
I hope you will join me in this month’s Sleeping Wellness Challenge!
If there are any challenges you would like to see covered here on the blog send me a quick email at Jennifer@beforetheyregrown.com or let me know in the comments below!