Noble is getting older and he does have good nights when he actually sleeps though. Unfortunately this does not happen quite as often as I would like. After almost a year and a ½ of living a life of sleep deprivation it starts to catch up to you.
I’m not going to lie, I’m tired, a lot. Although, I typically get eight hours of sleep, being interrupted from my sleep cycle and actually physically getting up does have an impact. The problem is not getting enough sleep, or specifically, enough good quality sleep, can have some serious consequences.
Along with increasing your risk of a long list of health problems, not getting enough sleep can cause you to gain weight, look older and decrease your ability to concentrate, reason and problem solve. Critical skills you need when dealing with a toddler.
Of course this is the life of the new(ish) mom. I’m not sure it’s going to change in the near future. Luckily, I have found a few things that truly do help to keep my energy levels up and keep me going on the days when I want to crawl under my desk for a quick power nap. Here are my top 7 ways to fight fatigue as a new mom.
Stay away from sugar
This is number one for a reason. So many of us are guilty of it. When you eat a lot of sugar and refined carbs you are going to quickly find yourself on the sugar rollercoaster. Eating sugar and feeling good because your blood sugar has shot off the charts. This is followed by the crash, which in turn causes you to automatically crave more sugar. Up and down, up and down, up and down. The more sugar and refined carbs you eat the more you crave. When you feel tired your body naturally craves more sugar and refined carbs because it wants that quick boost of energy. I know how hard it is, but do your best to cut out sugar and refined carbs.
Balance your meals
Instead of focusing on the sugar craving and not giving into it, take a step back and consider why you are having the craving in the first place. Take a good look at what you are eating. Are your meals balanced? Are you getting enough good fat? How long do you go between meals and snacks without eating? Are you eating enough protein and filling up on fibre? Do you eat a primarily plant based diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables or are you eating primarily processed and packaged foods? Spending some time improving your eating habits can significantly improve your energy levels.
Eating properly throughout the day is so important. In our modern world we can have a disconnect between our meals and our mental state and forget that our food is what fuels us. Garbage in, garbage out. Along with making sure we are eating properly, making sure we are getting a proper night sleep is also very important.
No pick-me ups
Coffee, caffeinated tea and alcohol can all have a counterproductive effect. According to the National Sleep Foundation caffeine is considered the most popular drug in the world. After being ingested it can stay in your body for several hours, which will have an impact if you drink it later in the day or the evening. Try to limit the amount of caffeine you are having, even if you don’t think it’s impacting your sleep.
Avoid alcohol before bed because it will also have a negative impact on your sleep. Alcohol can help you to fall asleep quickly and have a deeper sleep for a short time which tricks many people into thinking it actually helps them to get a sound slumber. The truth is, studies have found alcohol impacts REM, the stage of our sleep that is most restorative, the more you drink before bed, the more your sleep will be disturbed.
Try a calming drink
Not ALL tea is bad. There is evidence that drinking Camomile tea before bed can help you relax and potentially help you to have a better sleep. Magnesium is a powerful mineral that can help to relax the nervous system and muscles. Research has shown that even a small deficiency may be preventing your brain from settling down at night. Try a drink such as Natural Calm before bed which may help you get a better night sleep.
Find a routine and stick with it
I know it can be hard but going to bed at a different time and waking up at a different time each day is going to make matters worse. Try to be as consistent as possible when going to bed and getting up. Set yourself up with a bedtime routine that you do every night. Stay away from screens, before bed that will cause extra stimulation and make it harder to fall asleep. Try reading a book or my personal favourite, meditating. This will help to naturally calm you before bed.
Set yourself up for a successful slumber
Once you have established a good routine make sure that you are properly prepared. Making sure your room is in complete darkness is important because light can inhibit the secretion of melatonin, the hormone your body naturally makes to promote sleep. Even a small amount of light can be detected through your eyelids and this can impact the amount of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate our sleep and wake cycle, that your brain will produce. Try blackout blinds and eliminating any light that might be sneaking into your room. Finally, keeping your room at a cooler temperature will help.
What do you do to keep your energy levels up during the day? What do you do to get ready for bed? How do you get a good night sleep? I would love to hear your thoughts below.
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