Sleep Success For Grown Ups
So your baby or toddler are sleeping well, but what about you?
It is so frustrating when you’re tired but you just can’t sleep!
Waking up in the morning feeling exhausted, once those night wakes have ended, is just no fun at all. I know that when I have a poor sleep, I always struggle through the day. It is hard to stay calm, think clearly and have the energy to keep up with a busy lifestyle and 3 year old twins. Sleep is the foundation for good health and is truly just as valuable as good food and fresh water.
So what can we do to improve our sleep quality?
I wanted to share my top tips for achieving sleep success for grown ups.
Create A Haven
Transform your bedroom into #sleepgoals and make it the perfect sleep scape by giving it a makeover (or make under in some cases).
Start by decluttering everything in your room that doesn’t make you feel content or is not necessary in your bedroom. Think minimal and calm.
Do you have piles of “stuff” in your room that you need to sort through?
Rather than your bedroom being a place to leave must do tasks, make it a space for sleep and sex only. Think about the times you’ve arrived to a nice hotel and automatically felt relaxed? That feeling of “escapism” can be mimicked at home by creating a sacred bedroom space. We keep our bedroom very bare, a good quality mattress with nice linen in soft tones and one piece of abstract art. We each have a woven seagrass basket next to our bed to store books but other than that, our room is free of clutter and this helps us both wind down and switch off from all of our chores and must do tasks.
Treat yourself to some good quality linen and a great mattress that makes you smile every time you crawl into bed. We recently upgraded from our queen size Sealy to a king size Sealy mattress.
Before moving in with Matt, I had never had an amazing quality mattress, and the first night I slept in his bed I was surprised at the comfort factor. We have had that mattress for 7 years, so felt it was the right time to upgrade and we are LOVING the extra space a king size offers. We chose a King sized "Petra" mattress, from the Sealy Posture Enhanced range with matching ensemble.
Dark curtains are a great idea as well, a nice dark room helps to promote deep restful sleep by encouraging production of the sleep hormone Melatonin.
We are lucky in northern N.S.W that we naturally have great temperatures for sleeping most of the year, but if you live in a particularly hot or cold climate you might like to consider temperature control with an air conditioner. We all have a personal “optimum” sleeping temperature, some like to snuggle up while others don’t but generally speaking it can be hard to sleep when we are feeling too warm.
Tips For Choosing The Perfect Mattress
After sleeping on our new Sealy mattress and ensemble, Matt and I couldn't be happier with our purchase!
It can definitely be tricky to find the perfect mattress and with so many options, how do you know which is the best fit?
Below I have compiled some of my top tips to help ease you through the process.
Try Try Try!
Test drive as many as mattresses as you can. Don’t be shy, lie down, move around and then repeat the process again and again, noting how each mattress feels
Notice Your Body Language
When you are trying out different mattress’, be aware of how your body responds. A smile and relaxed body is what you are after.
When it comes to support, often we think a firmer mattress means more support. However, we learnt in store that isn’t always the case. You can achieve the same level of back and body support from a softer mattress.
Made To Order
Ask if the mattress you are purchasing is made to order to ensure that the one you buy is brand new.
It's An Investment
A quality mattress is a health investment and it is important to keep this in mind when setting a budget. A cheap mattress may seem like a good idea initially, but the potential side effects on your body may just end up costing you a great deal more. A good mattress is worth saving for.
Protect your mattress by exploring the warranty in which it comes with and if you are partial to fake tan use, you will want to protect your mattress from straining by using a Tanzee. Just like the one in our vlog, below.
You can use the code Kylie20 to save 20% off your very own mattress and linen saving Tanzee.
In this day and age we are all so busy and so “plugged in” throughout the day. For most of us, from the moment our feet hit the ground in the mornings we are just go, go, go. Whether you’re a stay at home parent, working parent or child free, we all experience the demands of a busy day with a never ending task list.
On top of being increasingly busy, we are also living in our phones more than ever before. Meaning, a lot of us fall into the habit of scrolling and checking-in, while completing other tasks. While this is sometimes great for efficiency, often it means that we are being taken away from being truly present in the moment and after a full day of this, it is very likely we will feel overloaded. So many people are non-stop all day until they collapse into bed and then wonder why they struggle to fall asleep?
When we work with babies and toddlers we teach parents the importance of routine and rituals and this same principle should be applied to grown up sleep. The basis of this approach is to let your baby or toddler gain an understanding of what is coming next. So when they have a regular routine, they become familiar and confident with the process. We can achieve a similar thing for you, as an adult, by creating a transition period to help your body and mind understand it is time to wind down.
Introduce a daily wind down routine for yourself, to help transition between the go, go, go to sleeping soundly. It doesn’t need to be lengthy, it can be as simple as having a “bedtime” for your electronic devices. Turning off your phones or even just switching to flight mode can be life changing for those of us who are continuously “tuned in” and accessible.
Add a shower and a stretch to this and you have a simple 3 step wind down process. Having some down time before asking your body and mind to sleep, is a really helpful practice.
Gratitude and Mindfulness
Speaking of practices, one of the best practices to stay present is to introduce more mindful tasks throughout the day and particularly, before bedtime. Rather than doing several tasks at once, just go at a slower pace and focus on one thing at a time.
Mindfulness is a great technique when you are finding it hard to fall asleep. One popular approach to falling asleep and feeling more mindful, is to work through each body part and tense, then relax it. Keeping your thoughts on the task at hand, and when your thoughts wander off, simply bring them back. So you might start at the toes and squeeze or clench your toes and then relax them. Move up to your calves, thighs and to throughout your body. It helps to calm your mind and to physically release tension in your body.
If you can’t calm your mind, or feel your thoughts are just too busy, than you may benefit from putting pen to paper. Writing down your thoughts can help clear them out of your mind. I have found adding an action next to my thoughts allows me to relax as I have my plans organised.
Gratitude is another great practice which can truly help with silencing the mind and drifting off to sleep. Before we fall asleep, we list the things we are truly grateful for. Both Matt and I find it hard to switch off from work at times, but centring ourselves with gratitude truly helps.
Through the afternoon and evening it can be helpful to choose protein rich foods, as there is a link between the amino acid Tryptophan and restful sleep. Removing stimulants from the diet also works wonders. Avoiding coffee from late morning is a good idea and assessing your intake of soft drinks, tea, chocolates and some pain medication is a good idea, as many of these contain caffeine. When we drink caffeine, it stimulates our central nervous system and increases our alertness, which is great first thing in the morning but not so good at bed time.
You don’t have to completely remove your afternoon tea of coffee, but transitioning to a caffeine free tea option, such as peppermint and chamomile tea, can help improve sleep quality.
Expending energy is a great way to prime your body and mind for rest. Each day, aim to move your body with intention!
Exercise can alleviate daily stressors and also increases your feel good endorphins, helping to improve your overall mood, health and wellbeing.
Find Out Your Sleep Number
The average amount of sleep an adult requires is 8 hours, but we all have different needs, expenditures and lifestyle. While some people feel amazing with 6 hours of sleep, others require more like 9. It is important to get to know your own personal sleep number. Once you know your optimum sleep number, you can work out your best bedtime and rising time. I feel my best when I am asleep before 9pm, this allows me to achieve 8 hours of sleep and stick with my 5:00am wake up call.
You can start by recording your bedtime, wake time, amount of sleep and energy levels throughout the following day. You can then adjust your sleep hours to find the best fit for your lifestyle. Of course if your little one isn’t sleeping well it is very hard to get a good night’s rest and if you need help in that department don’t hesitate to check out our baby and toddler sleep programs below.
Quality rest is essential for health and happiness.
If we are not sleeping well, it won’t matter how many cups of coffee or healthy meals we eat, we will still feel tired and when we are tired, we simply are not at our best. We are less patient, less empathetic and less motivated. We hope these sleep tips have helped. Don’t forget we share daily content over on Snapchat and Instagram.
You can find us here @thesleepmama