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Night-time Nourishment: Building Healthy Habits for Better Sleep

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In the whirlwind of mom life, the quest for quality sleep can often feel like a unicorn hunt – rare and elusive. But fear not, because we’re about to embark on a game-changing adventure together. Welcome to the topic of “Building Healthy Habits for Better Sleep for Busy Moms,” where we’ll trade sleepless nights for the sweet embrace of restfulness. In the chaos of carpooling, lunch packing, and superhero costume changes, we’re carving out a space for you to discover the bedtime magic that suits your busy lifestyle. So, slip into your comfiest PJs, grab your favorite warm drink, and let’s dive into the world of sleep-worthy habits that even the busiest of moms can embrace.

Sleep is a Primary Food

As you may have read in previous posts, I’m currently studying to be a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. In their core principles is the idea of primary foods for overall health. The concept of primary foods extends beyond the traditional notion of physical sustenance through diet and emphasizes the integral role of non-edible factors in overall well-being.

Primary foods encompass aspects of life such as relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality, acknowledging that these elements are just as crucial to health as the food we consume. This holistic approach recognizes that nourishment extends beyond the plate and that fulfillment in various life domains directly impacts one’s overall health.

By cultivating positive relationships, finding purpose in one’s career, engaging in regular physical activity, and nurturing spiritual well-being, individuals can achieve a more comprehensive and balanced approach to health. Recognizing the interconnectedness of these primary foods underscores the importance of addressing not only dietary choices but also the broader aspects of life to promote a truly nourished and vibrant existence.

Quality sleep falls under primary foods and is just as important as what you decide to put on your plate every day to nourish your body. So how can we prioritize healthy habits for better sleep?

10 Healthy Habits for Deep Sleep

Several lifestyle habits can significantly impact sleep quality. Here are some of the most influential factors that can impact your sleep quality:

  1. Sleep Schedule Consistency: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock, promoting better sleep.
  2. Bedtime Routine: Establishing a calming pre-sleep routine signals to your body that it’s time to wind down. Activities like reading, gentle stretching, or taking a warm bath can contribute to relaxation.
  3. Screen Time and Blue Light Exposure: Exposure to screens before bedtime, especially those emitting blue light, can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Consider limiting screen time at least an hour before bedtime.
  4. Physical Activity: Regular exercise can enhance sleep, but intense workouts close to bedtime may have the opposite effect. Aim for moderate exercise earlier in the day.
  5. Diet and Eating Habits: Large or heavy meals, caffeine, and nicotine close to bedtime can disrupt sleep. Opt for a lighter dinner, and consider avoiding stimulants in the hours leading up to sleep.
  6. Sleep Environment: Create a comfortable and conducive sleep environment. This includes a comfortable mattress and pillows, as well as a cool, dark, and quiet room.
  7. Stress Management: High stress levels, anxiety, or racing thoughts can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
  8. Alcohol and Sleep: While alcohol may initially make you feel drowsy, it can disrupt the later stages of sleep, leading to lower sleep quality. Limit alcohol intake, especially close to bedtime.
  9. Nap Habits: While short naps can be refreshing, long or irregular napping during the day can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you nap, aim for 20-30 minutes and avoid napping late in the day.
  10. Light Exposure: Exposure to natural light during the day helps regulate your body’s internal clock. Spend time outdoors, especially in the morning, to support a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

We are all respond differently, so it’s essential to find a routine and habits that work best for you. *If you consistently experience sleep difficulties, it would be best to consult with a healthcare professional or a sleep specialist to identify and address specific concerns. Next, we are going to go over specific ways you can build the best bedtime routine for better sleep.

Read More 10 Tips for Better Sleep

Best Practices in a Bedtime Routine for Better Sleep

Let’s chat about something we all need a bit more of—sleep! You know, that elusive thing we used to take for granted before becoming moms. Now, with our little bundles of joy (and sometimes chaos), it feels like a distant memory. But fear not, my tired comrades, because I’ve got some bedtime routine magic to share that might just turn those sleepless nights into sweet dreams.

First off, let’s talk consistency. I know, I know, life with kids can be unpredictable, but trust me, a consistent bedtime routine works wonders. Start winding down at the same time each night. It might be a battle at first, but stick with it, and you’ll see the benefits in no time.

Next up, create a cozy sleep haven. Just like when you are putting your kids to bed, it is best to create a sleep haven in your own room to help calm your mind to prepare for restful sleep. Dim the lights, pull out the comfy PJs, and maybe even throw in a few favorite pillows or blankets. Make bedtime a sanctuary where you feel safe and secure. It’s like setting the stage for a blockbuster sleep performance!

Now, here’s a game-changer: limit screen time before bed. I get it, iPads and TVs can be a way to wind down after a stressful day, but the blue light messes with our sleep hormones. Try replacing screen time with a calming bath, a favorite book or some journaling time. Trust me, it’s like a mini spa day for your brain.

Remember, mama, building a bedtime routine is all about trial and error. What works for one mom might not work for another, so feel free to get creative and find what suits you and your crew.

Nourishing Night-Time Snacks for Better Sleep

So, we’ve all been there, right? Late-night cravings or just finally a chance to eat without getting interrupted. But fear not, late night snack time doesn’t have to be the enemy of a good night’s sleep. Let’s talk about some nourishing snacks that’ll will help you get in extra Z’s each night.

How about a banana with a dollop of peanut butter? It’s like nature’s own sleepy-time treat. The banana brings in magnesium, which helps relax those tired muscles. The peanut butter adds a touch of protein to keep you feeling full. Another winner? Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of granola. It’s the dynamic duo of tryptophan and complex carbs—aka the dream team for inducing Zzz’s. And of course, a warm cup of chamomile tea is a classic bedtime soother. So, skip the sugary stuff and embrace the snack game for a night of sweet dreams. Read more Sleep Boosting Benefits of a Low Carb Lifestyle

Time to Conquer the World of Better Sleep

Now that you’ve learned several healthy habits for better sleep, it’s time to put them into practice. Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about progress. Embrace one or two healthy sleep habits at a time, and soon you’ll find yourself waking up with that beauty rest glow. Here’s to sweet dreams, restful nights, and waking up ready to tackle the world – one mom adventure at a time!

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Angela Parker
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