I’m tired. I feel it in my bones and muscles. I’m the kind of tired that a venti, extra shot at Starbucks cannot fix. The type of tired that even the best concealer cannot hide. I am mom-tired. Most seem to be under the impression that the exhaustion of motherhood can end with the newborn phase. It does not end there. Sorry, Mama.
We all know sleep is essential, but it just isn’t always a priority for us. I know it is something that I give up daily in order to get things done. Nevertheless, the impact of no sleep is no joke.
Being exhausted is exhausting.
The cycle of exhaustion never seems to end. You stay up late to clean the kitchen, make lunches, or catch up on How to Get Away With Murder, even when you know you should be in bed. You get up early to exercise, shower, and pour coffee before work. Shaving off an hour of sleep here and there though adds up.
According to WebMD, a lack of consistent sleep impairs your alertness and ability to focus or pay attention. How can we focus on our kids rambling on about the latest YouTube video if we cannot pay attention?
The mental load is too much.
Trouble focusing is just the tip of the iceberg. Motherhood, in all its stages, comes with a substantial mental load. Mom guilt is awful. I know my brain does not shut off when I am attempting to fall asleep. There is the to-do list for work, my son, my son’s school, housework, etc. There is always so much to do all the time. Relaxing enough to sleep often becomes impossible.
A common symptom of depression is having trouble sleeping. When you cannot sleep, it can make depression and anxiety worse.
“I need my beauty sleep.”
We’ve all heard the term. When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, it shows. Dark circles, puffy eyes, and fine lines become more noticeable. A lack of sleep releases cortisol, the stress hormone, which breaks down collagen that keeps us looking young.
When I was completing 80 Day Obsession, a workout program from Beachbody, there was a significant sleep component. Why? Sleep gives your muscles time to recover from the day. If you are only sleeping a few hours a night, studies show that it causes an increased appetite and crave those carbs! This can sabotage any progress you make in your fitness goals. Beauty sleep isn’t a joke. When you can get a good night’s rest, you do feel and look better.
But, how can I get to sleep?
To get a good night’s sleep, try these quick fixes:
- A low dose of melatonin (I swear by the Olly vitamins to help me fall asleep!)
- Regular exercise
- Avoid caffeine close to bedtime
- Keep the TV off. Electronics emit a particular type of blue light that is capable of triggering the brain to stop making melatonin. No thank you!
- Move your phone away from the bed since scrolling and scrolling on IG will keep you up and your mind going. Better yet, take your phone out of your bedroom. If you use it as an alarm clock consider investing in a Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Sunrise Stimulation. They have several different versions of these.
Mamas, we all want to be the best mom we can be. That means taking care of you, and yes, that means to have a bedtime just like we have for our kids. No matter the age, when our kids don’t get enough sleep, they are grouchy and cannot function.