Back to school and sleep

Hey, how are you?

Have you found your back to school routine yet?

I’m sat here wondering how everyone is coping after the back to school shakeup. I’ve seen a lot of information about back to school anxiety for children, however, I have seen little dialogue about the toll back to school rush has on us mothers.

After we have finished with all the back to school essentials ( school uniform, packed lunch e.c.t). I think we can all benefit from a week of sleep.

With that in mind, I’ll dedicate this blog to sleep in the hopes that we can get the rest we need.

So, where to start?

Let’s begin by taking an inventory of your sleep habits.

Sleep inventory 

Think about your past week and answer the questions below: 

  • How many hours of sleep do you get on average each night?
  • Does your sleep differ from night to night?
  • Where do you sleep?
  • Who sleeps with you? What their sleep is like?
  • Do you have a bedtime routine?
  • Is there anything that makes you sleepy or more alert?
  • Do you sleep in the daytime?
  • Are there any situations where you can make your rest and sleep come first?
  • Is there anyone who would help out so could get more rest?

How did you do?

Here are my answers:

I tend to get about 6hrs each night but, I do get more on the weekend. Although, last Saturday I had to be up at 5.30 am to take my daughter on her Air Cadets trip. 

My sleep routine is pretty consistent. It starts with me tidying up the kitchen once the kids are in bed, taking my make up off, putting my PJ’s on, getting into bed and completing my Duolingo lesson for the day ( I am on a 293-day streak – which I am very proud of). After my lesson, I listen to my audiobook ( The Alchemist) and it’s off to the land of nod for me.

I sleep alone so I don’t have any distractions 😉 and I always sleep in my bed. I can’t comfortably sleep anywhere else.

As for things that make me more alert, I’d say a Redbull less than 3 hours before bed would affect my sleep. I used to have a hot chocolate with squirty cream and marshmallows before bed ( to help me sleep) but, now I am trying to lose weight that has stopped.

I could prioritise my sleep by turning the tv off a little earlier, but you know what it’s like when you get into a Netflix series … Turning the tv off is easier said than done.

As for someone helping me get more rest, I am not too sure about that.

Did you know we should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep a night?

I don’t get enough, it looks like I am accruing a significant sleep debt.

Were you getting enough sleep?

Signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation

If not, see if you notice any of the signs of sleep deprivation in yourself:

Psychological

  • Feelings of depression
  • Waking up feeling groggy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability
  • Slower reaction times
  • Overeating and weight gain
  • Trouble solving problems and making decisions
  • Bad decision-making

Physical

  • Microsleeps during the day 
  • Weakened immune system
  • Increased feelings of pain
  • Increased chances of conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, or obesity
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Wrinkled skin and dark circles under your eyes
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleeping longer on days you don’t have to set the alarm

I can hold my hands up and say that I have experienced a few of those! 

Waking up and feeling groggy is the worst.

Now we know the down slides to not getting enough sleep I am going to leave you with some tips to help you get those all important ZZZ’s and help you feel refreshed after a good nights sleep.

Getting a good nights sleep 

Top tips for a good night sleep: 

  • Lower your caffeine consumption – that includes coffee, energy drinks and smoking during the day 
  • Avoid alcohol – before bed 
  • Eat a small snack before bed
  • Relax – try warm milk, a warm bath and deep relaxing breaths
  • Sleep in the same place every night 
  • Make a to-do list early in the evening and then put it to one side. You can pick it up again in the morning.
  • Close your eyes and picture yourself relaxing and sleeping well.

Try to create your bedtime routine using some of the tips above. Leave a comment below and let me know whether they’ve helped.

Why not start tonight?

Sweet dreams 

Laura

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