If there’s one thing that I’ve lost since becoming a parent, it’s an immeasurable amount of sleep.
Don’t get me wrong, parenting is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done with my life, and what I’ve lost in sleep I’ve more than made up for it in laundry…no, wait, that’s not right.
It’s LOVE! I’ve more than made up for it in the love I’ve received.
Seriously though there’s nothing that could have prepared me for the long, sleepless nights of parenthood. Of course, it didn’t help that my three kids are all born two years apart either, so really I had a pretty rough six to seven years.
Just when I started to wonder if my kids would ever start going to bed, staying in bed, and sleeping through the entire night (it’s not morning if the sun’s not up, kiddos), something magical happened.
My kids sleep all through the night.
But then something else happened –
I no longer did.
Maybe it was my body’s way of adapting to the years and years of interrupted sleep.
Maybe it was the bad habits I developed as a freelance writer and blogger, staring at the computer screen long after my kids were in bed.
Maybe it was the other bad habits like watching TV and staring at my phone while I waited for everyone else to fall asleep that finally damaged my body’s biological clock.
Let me just assure you that as a parent, the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep even though your kids are all sleeping feels very unnatural.
In fact, when Daylight Saving Time started last year, as we’re set to do here Sunday, March 12th, my kids were adjusted to the time difference in a few days, whereas I was a mess for at least a couple of weeks.
I was not only have a hard time falling asleep at night, but I also couldn’t stay asleep through the night and found myself wide awake an hour or more before my kids were up in the mornings.
Let’s just say it only took a few Saturday mornings, where my busted internal clock had me up before the sun, early bird, and the kids to know I needed to reset.
Here’s how I fixed my body’s broken biological clock:
- No more working past my kid’s bedtime. This is a tough one for me, because as someone who works from home, I’m already keeping odd hours. However, trying to keep my brain sharp and focused for a few hours of work at night seems to equate to several more hours of tossing and turning afterwards. It’s forced me to have better time management during the day, and if something isn’t done by 8pm, it’s not getting done until the next morning.
- It’s not just trying to keep my brain working at night, it’s also looking at my laptop and/or phone after bedtime that’s distrusting my sleep cycles. It’s well known to sleep researchers and doctors that the light emitted from our computers, tablets and phones can actually cause changes in your body that lead to sleep issues. So not only am I not working after 8pm, my laptop is closed for the evening too. I still might find myself on my phone, but I’ve actually changed my settings to change the color of the screen during the night to warmer colors not as likely to disrupt sleep (on iPhone this is under Settings/Display & Brightness/Night Shift).
- For an instant good night’s sleep I take Natrol’s Melatonin, *a 100% drug free and non-habit forming way to get a better night’s sleep. Our body’s use Melatonin to manage the sleep and wake cycles. All my years of interrupted sleep and bad nighttime habits really disturbed my body’s sleep patterns. When I take Natrol’s Melatonin I find that I’m falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer (sometimes through the whole night like a big girl), and I’m waking feeling well rested. I’ve also seen the difference in not just how I feel, but how my body responds on my FitBit which also tells me how long I slept and how restful my sleep was. On the night’s where I took Natrol’s Melatonin, the sleep was longer in duration and better in quality from night’s where I don’t take it. Natrol makes their Melatonin in a variety of formulas to fit your needs – gummies, fast dissolve, time release and tablets.(*statements not evaluated by FDA. Product not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Talk to your doctor before starting any new vitamins because I’m not an expert, just a formerly exhausted mom)
- I created a bedroom suitable for sleep! This seems like a no brainer, but my room really wasn’t all that inspiring for a good night’s sleep. I’ve since added a sound machine that lulls me to sleep with the pitter-patter of rain drops, the ocean’s waves or a number of other soothing settings. My kids use these too, and after years of hearing them through baby monitors, I found I couldn’t sleep without the white noise either. I’ve also added a soft comfortable blanket, an amazing pillow, and for adjusting to the time change, a sleep mask.
So how are you sleeping these days? To help you adjust Natrol is sponsoring a great gift basket for one lucky reader! Winner will receive over $275 in soothing, sleep-inducing prizes that include, Natrol’s Melatonin, a sound machine, a plush blanket, sleep mask, a luxury pillow, Bath & Body Works Sleep Soap & Lotion, and a $25 Amazon gift card so you can turn off the TV and pick up a good book before bed! Open to US Only, Winner will be announced next week during a Facebook Live event! Complete the entry form below for a chance to win!
Speaking of prizes, Natrol also has a campaign going this month to raise awareness about our nation’s lack of sleep. They are asking people to post photos of their friends or family members #CaughtDozing. If you post a photo to their Facebook page (or on Twitter) and hashtag #CaughtDozing you will receive a coupon for #NatrolMelatonin and be entered in their weekly drawing for awesome sleep swag!