True, robust health starts with… sleep.
You thought I was going to say food, didn’t you? #psych
April is The Month of Sleep (cue fanfare) for my new project here. I’m excited. And kind of exhausted just thinking about it.
I’m not sure why it seems like such a sacrifice to prioritize sleep. After all, I KNOW I feel better when I sleep more, and feeling better is not a sacrifice. [shrug] I guess it’s more that I may have to give up some of my precious alone time after the kids are in bed.
Here’s how this is going to work:
Each month, I’m going to pick a theme for blogging and for my own action. I’ll define my goals, and I’ll share whether I deserve high fives or eye rolls for my efforts. I’ll give you the ins and outs about HOW I plan to pull it off, too. You can be privy to my research, overthinking, and implementation. #welcometomybrain
Disclaimer: Now, I say I’m going to have a monthly theme. What I’ve realized in trying to plan this out is that this approach essentially goes against my holistic mindset. Everything is intertwined. Your environment affects your sleep affects your exercise affects your food affects your skin, and so on. Keep that in mind, and I’ll try not to go on too many tangents. Tangents are, however, a given.
SO. That said.
I have a complex about sleep. I get a little panicky if I know I’m not going to get enough of it. Okay, a lot panicky.
I’ve always needed a lot of sleep to function. I was a professional-level napper from probably the time I no longer “needed a nap” (ha) to graduating college. It was never that big of a deal to get less sleep in the short term as long as I knew I’d be able to “make up for it” later.
The complex started when my daughter was 48 hours old and we came home from the hospital. I’d slept approximately 6 hours total in the past four days, and I was a mess of epic proportions. I was so relieved to get home and get some rest.
Um, hello. Colicky newborn in the hizzouse. Not gonna happen. #firsttimemom
Long story extremely short, she eventually slept. I eventually slept. Sort of. And I decided to do it all again.
Now, two babies and several years later, I’m beyond ready to recommit my life to sleep. #altarcall #thankyoulord
So what does that look like?
- Give myself the opportunity for 9 hours of sleep every night. Yes, 9. I know it seems like a lot, but we’re healing here.
- Set a consistent bedtime (10 PM)
- No internet for 20 minutes before bed. (I would say “no phone”, but I like to do Heart Math before bed, and that’s on my phone. So. #exceptions)
- Screen use within an hour of bedtime uses Night Shift and/or amber glasses to minimize blue light, and lights are dimmed within an hour of bedtime
- No phone use until school run on school mornings, for 20 minutes after waking on weekends (Obvious exception: checking for school delays or weather)
- Reduce nighttime EMF exposure: no wifi, phones in other rooms or in airplane mode
- Work through the Headspace Sleep meditation pack, once daily for ten minutes
- Do pillow research: find a new pillow
- Buy dust mite covers for the mattress and our pillows
- Research air purifiers for the bedroom
Are you like, “Whaaaaat are you talking about? I thought you were just going to try and go to bed earlier. And what’s with all the phone stuff?”
Well, I am going to bed earlier. And these are also the somewhat random-seeming things I’ll do to achieve the best sleep I can.
I’ll tell you more about each of these resolutions this month and why they matter.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more, check out The Paleo Mom’s ebook about sleep, Go To Bed. You can do the 14-day Go To Bed challenge along with me! I did it last year, and it was informative and helpful. She also has some great posts about sleep here and here. #notreinventingthewheel
Who wants to join me in better sleep for the rest of this month? #solidarity