Did you answer the 6 questions I asked about your health last week? If so, the odds are good that you answered “no” to “Do you get enough sleep?” Most busy wives and moms need more sleep, so if you don’t get enough you’re in good company. Although it’s not the sort of company you want to be in, because sleep is so incredibly important to taking care of your health! Not to mention helping you feel, function and look your best.
Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Sure, you can function on less, but not very well. And at some point the lack of sleep begins to take a toll on your physical and mental health, as well as your marriage and family.
Most sleep-deprived women know they need more sleep, but they haven’t figured out how to get it. If that’s where you find yourself, here are 5 ideas to help you get started:
- Evaluate your sleep patterns. If you’re only sleeping 5 or 6 hours a night, figure out why. Are you staying up late watching television or reading? Are you out of the house at meetings or activities 3 or 4 nights a week? Are you working from sunrise until well past sunset trying to finish your “to do” list? If so, why? Are you doing things that others in the family could or should be doing? Are you working all of that time, or are you letting some time wasters creep in and suck up some of your valuable time? I know that’s an issue for me, and it’s one of the main things I plan to work on this fall.
- Allow your health to become a priority. As wives and moms, we sometimes act as if our own needs aren’t important. We let ourselves get too busy, and then we allow our health, mental health, dreams and interests to fall away in the name of caring for others. Obviously, our children’s needs are a top priority for most of us, and rightly so. And most of us want to take good care of our husbands too. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also take care of ourselves. And it doesn’t mean that the “wants” (as opposed to true needs) of everyone in the family should always take priority. Wives and moms have legitimate needs too. And few needs are more legitimate than getting enough sleep most nights of the week!
- Make a plan and determine how to make it work. If you’ve decided that getting more sleep is a priority, plan how you’re going to do it. You may need to “clear the decks” of activities that are less essential than sleeping well. That could mean almost anything – from saying “no” to a request from your children’s school to resigning from a church committee to limiting your children’s activities to cutting some time wasters from your life. Enlist the help of your husband and children. Determine that you’re going to care for yourself by getting enough sleep, and make a plan that makes it happens.
- Get in bed and relax 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep. If you get up at 6:00, you need to be asleep by 11:00 in order to sleep for 7 hours. And in order to fall asleep easily and sleep well, you need to be relaxed. So plan to get in bed and relax for at least 30 minutes – read a book, listen to music, talk with your husband. And stay away from electronics – your phone, tablet or laptop won’t help you truly relax.
- Be kind to yourself. Sometimes, making time to get enough sleep is difficult, and in some phases of life it’s nearly impossible. For example, the needs of a newborn, a teething baby, a sick child, or an older parent can cause your best laid plans to crash and burn. So during those times, be kind to yourself. Sleep when you can. Let go of less important things (a spotless house, elaborate meals, commitments outside your family, etc.) and focus only on the really important things – your health, your marriage, and your family.
You are worth whatever changes it takes to ensure that you a good night’s sleep almost every night. Is getting enough sleep a problem for you? What strategies have you used to make sure you get the sleep you need? Please share your thoughts in the Comments – I would love to hear from you.