Oh, that beautiful, elusive, healing, restoring, wonderful thing!
But everyone knows that once you have kids its pretty hard to get a great night’s sleep, right?
Often if I’m having a rough day, my husband will ask, “How did you sleep last night?” More times than not, if the day or my attitude is sucking, my sleep did too. So, I fight for good sleep. Sometimes (oftentimes), one or more of the babies are up a few times in the night, but if I have a window of opportunity to get some rest, I try my best to take advantage of it.
As a wife, homemaker, mother – one of the best gifts I can give my family is my own good night of sleep – and theirs too!
I’ve struggled with insomnia for various reasons the past several years and have found a few things that help me and mine in getting a more restful night’s sleep. I tend to be a little on the high-strung and tightly-wound side, and have to be intentional about settling down in the evenings. If this is a struggle for you and yours too, these ideas may help you have a sweeter night’s sleep:
1. Tech-free time. Glowing screens, beeping cell phones and a constant influx of information can keep our minds racing even when we’re trying to wind down. It can be hard but healthy to step away from the electronic devices in the evening! I’ve mostly given up late-night TV, Pinterest, etc. in favor of reading. It sets my mind at rest. I also keep a notepad nearby, so if my mind starts racing I can jot a few things down and stop thinking about them. Reading the Psalms is especially restful and soothing! I also start turning down lights after the kids go to bed at 8 – which cues my mind and body to start winding down.
2. Epsom baths. Taking epsom baths (sometimes with added essential oils) is mine and Nels’s new guilty pleasure. It helps ease aching muscles after a long day, reduces inflammation, helps the body detox (check out: How To Take A Detox Bath!), and softens tough, dry or irritated skin. When the body is under stress, magnesium is leeched from the body, and absorbing it through the skin while bathing with epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can help combat that. It’s also safe for kids’ baths and has helped improve eczema for my little boy. Here’s more on the remarkable benefits of epsom baths. Mostly, it leaves me warm, relaxed, and exhausted! When your aches and pains are soothed, your body is more comfortable and able to fall (& stay) asleep.
3. Chamomile tea. I try to avoid caffeine in the evenings, but love a soothing hot cuppa…something! Lately my favorite wind-down drink has been Tazo Rest or Calm Chamomile.
4. Magnesium. A few months back I joined the “Trim Healthy Mama” bandwagon, and in the chapter on supplements, I read about magnesium and decided to start taking it in the evenings for more restful sleep (you can find it affordably just about anywhere – I take “Triple Magnesium Complex” from Swanson’s). It has similar benefits as epsom salt, and also ensures “regularity”…TMI? You’re welcome. 😉 Food sources include green leafy vegetables, almonds, etc.
5. Lavender. Lavender is known to be a soothing scent that eases anxiety and insomnia. It is a favored scent in lotions and other products (Trader Joe’s has an affordable lavender hand and body lotion), but lavender essential oil is especially useful – diffused in a room, with a few drops in a bath, or on your pillow or pajamas.
I have used lower-end essential oil brands from the health food store (like Aura Cacia) and liked that very much, and recently invested in a more potent, purist version from doTerra. I’ve recently heard of lavender as a natural teething remedy, as well – we will definitely be trying that out!
6. Prayer. My husband and I have made a habit of reading a chapter of Scripture and praying together before bed each night. This is a good opportunity for me to gives all my worries and cares to God, since He cares about me! (1 Peter 5:7)
Sometimes it seems a little funny to put so much effort into sleep, but for our family it is one of those things that is just soooo worth it! Good sleep is so important for me for health and immunity, energy, avoiding depression and other things.
Sweet dreams! ❤
P.S.: Have you tried any of these, or found other things helpful? Do share with me!