There are three important components that really help put moms on the road to success. I call it the “Healthy Trifecta.” (Of course there are many other components to successful mothering, but if not for these three, I wouldn’t be sane!) The one I will focus on in part two of this four-part series is sleep. Man, oh man, sleep is a HUGE component. I know many of us moms probably do not experience enough of it, instead we learn to function on very little sleep. Sometimes, we cannot help it. (In the first part of this series, I talked about how selfishness is actually a good thing.
It’s a fact that I used to pride myself on working weekend overnights while taking care of my teenager (and twin babies), sleep a total of four hours in three days, and still be smiling. People always asked how I did it. My answer was simply; I just do. But at some point, you need to take a step back and say, “How helpful is this to me or my family? How healthy can I really be?” The answer is, not really at all.
So here comes the selfish part…sleep! As hard as it is to say, “I need to leave this mess for the morning because I need sleep more than a super clean home,” you need to do it. I would always say, “Now that the children are sleeping, I need to spend hours picking up the room, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc.” The truth is, it’s more important for you to get into a good sleep pattern.
The chores will always be there. You can catch up on that. You CANNOT catch up on sleep. Sleeping three hours one night and then nine hours the next DOES NOT level the playing field.
If you need to call in the cavalry to help make this happen, DO IT! Have someone help with the chores or give you a child-free break so that you are able to take a cat nap during the day. Lack of sleep can lead to some horrid sicknesses that will really render you out of commission. Many wonderful moms on this blog have written fabulous articles about how it takes a village to raise a child. Check out Diana’s if you need some inspiration for calling in the troops!
Another way to make your sleep better is doing REM cycle sleeping. REM is short for rapid eye movement. This is when your body and brain are in what they call “deep sleep.” REM cycles are about every 90 minutes of your sleeping.
I found a great In the first part of this series for my phone that tracks your sleeping. It shows how restless you are, when you are awake (even if you don’t know it), and the quality of your sleep. It also has an alarm on it that you can set that will wake you up when you start coming out of your REM cycle. For example, if I want to wake up around 7:30 a.m., I will set the alarm for 7 a.m. to cover a 30-minute window. When I start coming out of REM sleep during that time frame, it will vibrate and/or play the alarm I set. It has honestly improved my sleeping immensely.
I hope this has encouraged you to be selfish and start planning your sleep. The benefits will astound you and allow you to keep on mothering with a clear head and a positive outlook. I look forward to discussing the next part of the Healthy Trifecta with you soon!