In a survey we conducted back in September 2020, 93% of moms reported getting less than 8 hours of sleep a night! With higher levels of stress, increased screen time, and major lifestyle changes (like kids buzzing around at home all day), parents — moms in particular — are battling coronasomnia.
So whether you’re a new parent or you’ve been around the block a couple of times already, here are 6 ways to consistently prioritize sleep, in what will notably be the busiest years of your life!
1. Set boundaries and create space for yourself
While life has gotten a bit more convenient and commute times drastically reduced in the era of Zoom calls, not having this clear distinction between work, personal time, and home life actually exacerbates stress — you will always be ‘on’ or reminded of unfinished tasks and the temptation to answer just one more email will be all too great.
Designating separate spaces in your home, and particularly avoiding bringing work into the bedroom, can greatly help you wind down both mentally and physically at the end of the day.
2. Be mindful of the media you consume
Really try to stay away from watching or reading the news before bedtime and do something for yourself that will inspire or put you in the right mindset.
We suggest spending 20 minutes writing in a gratitude journal, listening to a funny podcast, or indulging in that book or magazine that has been neglected because “life just got too busy.”
3. Schedule ‘worry time’ but not at the end of the day
Yes, this is actually a thing and a technique used in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Block off 10 minutes in your calendar (ideally in the afternoon and after you’ve had lunch) where you are allowed to freely worry and stress about the things going on in your life.
The goal is to relieve anxiety and address the causes of that worry before it spirals out of control.
4. Practice good sleep hygiene
Just as you have a bedtime routine of brushing your teeth and changing out of your day clothes for something more comfortable, this involves consistent practices that you will incorporate every day so your body and brain get accustomed to it.
- Going to bed and waking up at a set time
- Dimming your lights 30 minutes before you lie down
- Listening to relaxing music and anything else that will help you wind down.
5. Avoid blue light exposure
Don’t #NetflixAndChill or engage in doom-scrolling on social media! Start decreasing your screen time 2 hours before your bedtime to avoid throwing your circadian rhythm (your body’s biological clock) out of whack. It is actually wise to keep all electronics out of the bedroom altogether.
6. Incorporate Meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) into your routine
Mindfulness can enhance emotional regulation and help us maintain an inner calmness despite our outside worlds being flipped upside down. Expectful is our go-to app for bringing zen into our lives. They have a large collection of mediation and sleep resources for fertility, pregnancy, and parenthood and you can try it out for free for 7 days.
A solid, restful night helps build up our immune systems, improves mental and emotional health, and allows us to be our best selves for our partners and children. If you are having extended periods of sleep challenges, the Sleep Foundation is a comprehensive and dependable website with expert advice that can help you out.