Sleep Equals Sanity and Other Beauty Enhancing Benefits
If you are a mom then I guarantee that you are intimately familiar with sleep deprivation. It’s common for most new parents to have broken interrupted sleep for more than eight months after the baby is born. Trust me it can go on a lot longer than that. Smart parents start sleep training around then. Stupidly I thought I could get our baby to sleep without it. So I endured 14 months of sleep deprived insanity. The only way I kept it together was to go to bed at 7 pm with my baby. I was able to get at least 3 hours before the multiple nighttime waking’s begun.
If you have other children who are potty training or are frequently sick then your sleep deprivation can pile up like bags of trash on a New York street corner. Looming overhead and threatening to topple over and trap you underneath.
Sleep Deprivation is brutal, that’s why they use it for torture.
The long-term goal with sleep is to get out from behind it and stay ahead of it.
There are lifestyle adjustments that can help you achieve this goal.
It’s important to address the underlying cause of the sleep deprivation. Who or What is causing you to lose sleep?
If your sleep is being interrupted because of your child or children, then they need to be treated.
If your sleep is being interrupted because of you, then you need to be treated.
If the sleep deprivation goes on long enough, then both of you need to be treated.
In general, lifestyle adjustments can be implemented for whomever the issue lies.
For the remainder of this post I will be addressing the common self-defeating behaviors that affect sleep quality and quantity in women and specifically mothers.
-Women who stay up until or after midnight-
When I ask these women why they do this, the most common replies sound like this:
“This is the only personal time I have all day.” Note: These women take time to unwind by watching TV, drinking wine or eating sugary snacks.
“When the house is quiet I can get my projects done.” Note: these usually aren’t fun relaxing projects like organizing photos they involve running the household and should be considered work.
“I need to finish up work that I need for the office the next day.” Note: The United States has the highest percentage of women who work full time, more than any other country in the world. The average number of hours worked each week is between 50 and 60.
“If I go to bed earlier I can’t seem to fall asleep, I just lay there.” Note: This can be from caffeine or stimulants taken too late in the day or having a disrupted circadian and hormonal rhythm.
“I go to sleep but then I just wake up, then I’m up for hours.” Note: This is often from a disrupted hormonal/adrenal rhythm.
Here’s the catch: The longer the sleep disturbance prevails the more out of balance the circadian rhythm goes. Eventually it’s like a train that goes off the track and sleep becomes a train wreck instead of a welcome visitor. It happened to me; once I finally got my baby sleeping I would lay awake staring at the ceiling. This went on for 2 weeks before I realized my rhythm was off from so many months of disruption.
What most people don’t know is that going to bed after midnight completely screws up a hormone cascade that starts to occur around 9pm. The cascade is programmed to run with the setting sun frequencies and completes the cycle around 2am. Once the train leaves the station you’re left on the platform for about 5 hours before your body tries to cycle through again. That’s right about the time most of us need to wake up. Coffee anyone?
These particular hormones are super high in anti-oxidants and work to repair the cellular damage that occurs on a day by day basis. We need these hormones just as much on inside as on the outside for all kinds of cellular repair.
I recommend implementing something called sleep hygiene to help you get into bed earlier. Sleep hygiene is a routine that you follow each night before bed. It starts about 1.5hrs before your set bedtime and gives you an opportunity to wind down from your day without engaging in any stimulating behaviors that are counterintuitive to your needs. For most people a bedtime of 10:30pm works well. Your ideal bedtime will depend on how many hours of sleep you need, your ideal wake up time, and your schedule and no 9pm is not too early.
If you suspect you are having hormonal or adrenal interference with sleep I can help you with that. There are specific tests that will identify your areas of imbalance. Then I can develop a specific program based on your needs to help get you get more sleep.