Before learning why sleep was so important, I had made a decision earlier this year to focus on my health, and sleep was part of that change. Little did I know that one small change would affect my entire life. Sleep had a positive effect on my health, happiness, productivity, relationships, and mental state.
Working, devoted, moms tend to have busy lives because not only do they pay the bills and maintain the household but they also spend a lot of time with their kids and spouse all while still getting “me time” squeezed into the schedule. We sometimes put more on our plate than we can handle but we do it because sometimes we get into “super mom” mode. As a mom and wife with a demanding career, a blogger, and an active 5 year old, I’m very familiar with having a busy schedule; however, I have still managed to spend quality time with my family, succeed at the workplace, and help maintain the household all while keeping my sanity. Many people ask me “how do you accomplish all this in one day?” My response is sleep and a healthy lifestyle. You’re probably thinking how is sleep and a healthy lifestyle the secret to being a successful mom? Let me explain.
In the last 5 years since I had my son, there has been plenty of times where I have stayed up late or didn’t sleep at all because I had work projects to complete. Staying up late seemed to be a common habit I developed throughout the years because it was the only time I was able to focus on the things I wanted to do. While my family slept, I worked late hours of the night and some nights were very long. After a few years of sleep deprivation, I started to notice that the lack of sleep was clearly affecting my overall health and mental well-being. That’s when I decided to make a change.
Due to the lack of sleep:
•I became obese and developed unhealthy habits and poor diet which eventually led to several health issues
• My energy levels were always low
• I suffered severed mood swings
• I couldn’t concentrate during the day which affected my productivity
• My work and life balance was suffering because I didn’t have the motivation or energy to be there for my family
• I was physically and mentally exhausted all the time
• I was burned out and stressed
Misconceptions of sleep
Many moms think that sleeping 8+ hours a day makes them lazy and unproductive. We see all these posts from entrepreneurs, celebrities and other successful people telling you that in order to make it or to achieve your dreams, you have to sacrifice sleep and work all hours of the night. That could be true for a person who doesn’t have kids and responsibilities but for a mom that needs to work and raise a family, sleeping at least 8 hours is crucial. No one really understands the power of sleep because we have been trained to think that it’s a luxury rather than a necessity to thrive in this world. Why is sleep so important?
Here are 4 reasons why you should be sleeping at least 8 hours a day:
1) Sleep plays an important role in your health and physical state. It makes you less prone to diseases by healing and repairing your body during sleep.
2) Sleep improves memory, spurs creativity and enhances your quality of life
3) Getting enough sleep gives you the energy and mood boost to function at your best
4) Prevent accidents such as car crashes
Check out this article published on the American Psychological Association that discusses the importance of sleep and how it affects your health.
Arianna Huffington from the Huffington post has recently started a movement that educates people on why sleep is crucial to a happy and successful life. In one of her TED talks, she said:
“I’m here to tell you that the way to a more productive, more inspired, more joyful life is getting enough sleep. When I get enough sleep, I’m better at everything. I’m better at running the Huffington Post, I’m more creative, I’m less reactive, I’m better with my children.”
I thought this statement coming from a powerful and successful woman and mom was pretty bold. Her views on sleep are not very common among some successful people. I listened to her entire TED talk on sleep and then started doing research myself. What I discovered was quite shocking. I felt the need to share it with all the moms who are living day to day sleep deprived. I know what it’s like to have ambition, and feel the urge to work at night because you think that’s the only time you can work on your goals and dreams. But when you are determined, you will find a way to adjust your schedule to work on your goals while staying healthy and getting enough sleep. Start by reducing TV time, use any free time during the day such as your lunch break or downtime to work on your side projects, and get rid of activities that are not getting you closer to your goals (that night out with friends can wait). The quality and amount of sleep you get each night will determine your future.
These are some tips for getting a good night sleep:
1) Turn off your phone 30 mins before you go to bed to let your mind relax
2) Sleep at least 8 hours a day because it gives your body and mind enough time to recover, rest, and get ready for next day
3) Never ever bring work to bed. It will keep you up all night
4) Read a book or do some meditation or yoga before going to bed. It will help you relax
5) Put lavender essential oils on your pillow, rub it on your chest, or put it in an oil diffuser. This scent helps you calm the mind.
6) Take a hot bath with Epsom salts to wind down and relax the body
7) You can spray magnesium before you go to bed. It helps with insomnia and it decreases stress hormones
After I started sleeping 8 hours, I noticed that my focus and level of concentration increased immediately. The ability to think clearer made me evaluate our health, diet, and habits. A good night sleep gave me the energy and required focus to make changes that ultimately led to a healthy lifestyle. Good sleep and healthy habits puts an end to illness and maintains good health.
Don’t sacrifice sleep! Your family needs you to get the proper amount of sleep to stay productive and healthy. Next time you’re feeling moody or you’re lacking focus and energy, take a nap or get a good night sleep. You will feel brand new.