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How to Get More Sleep When You’re a Busy Mom

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

Too tired to even get ready for bed? Learn three ways to get better sleep tonight.

An alarm clock next to a small plant on a small white table and bed with gray wood paneling in the background
We all could use more sleep. But how do you actually get it?

Tired of being tired? If your first thought every morning is I’m so tired, I just want to go back to bed, or I’ve got to go to bed early tonight, you’re not alone.

Most working moms aren’t getting enough quality sleep, and it’s taking a toll. Are you one of them?

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one out of three adults are not sleeping at least seven hours every night. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Seven is the minimum. The minimum. As in the least recommended amount of sleep you should be getting. How often are you getting seven hours of sleep? Six hours? Five, anyone?

Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night might seem laughable to a busy person like you and me because we’re constantly trying to check more and more things off our to-do lists. There just aren’t enough hours to do all the things. But truthfully, we can’t dodge what our bodies ultimately need. This lack of sleep eventually catches up with us in the form of fatigue, reduced tolerance, impatience and a host of other things that we probably don't want.

Like our babies, we need rest and sleep for mind and body rejuvenation. We don’t stop needing sleep. Ever. We have to fill up our sleep tank. Every. Single. Day.

You might be thinking, But Julie, my plate is so full, I have to sacrifice sleep just to get it all done. Or, Who even sleeps? There’s no time for that. Nighttime is the only time I have to catch up with my personal life.

The truth is that if we all added more hours to our sleep bank, we would have more time, energy and patience to do the things we want to do.

Sleep is the No. 1 self-care practice we can all be doing more of, but it’s often overlooked because life is too busy, and well, something has to be sacrificed.

So what can you do?

Practice It: 3 Ways to Start Sleeping Better Tonight

Enter Ayurveda—yoga’s sister science known as the “science of life” and one of the world’s oldest medical traditions.

Drawing upon Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom, you can get better sleep tonight and rely less and less on that caffeine. Here’s how:

  • Stick to a daily routine. Even on weekends. This way, your body will know what to expect when in terms of sleeping, eating and working. We operate on a 24-hour clock. What you do during the day impacts how much sleep you’ll be getting that night. Ate a large meal late at night? Yep, your sleep is not going to be optimal because your body will be trying to digest your food when it actually really, really wants to be sleeping and restoring. Sticking to a consistent routine can create a positive, harmonious cycle, but doing things at all different times every day can spin a web of chaos.

  • Choose a bedtime. Ayurveda’s wisdom tells us that it’s not just the quantity of sleep but the quality of sleep that matters. How do you get both? Go to bed by 10 or 10:30 p.m. and wake up before the sun rises or at about 6 or 6:30 a.m. to feel your most energized. If 10 p.m. is your bedtime, honor it, and go to bed at that time every night. Start to build your life around your bedtime (just like your kids’ bedtimes). In fact, your kids’ bedtimes can help you stay on track with your own.

  • Do something quiet and calming just before bed. An hour or two before bed, part ways with your smartphone and anything with a stimulating blue light. Opt to do something relaxing instead. Journal, read, meditate. Anything to calm your mind and body to get ready for an evening of deep, restorative sleep so that you can wake up rested and feeling amazing.

Before you go to bed tonight, gather the gear you need: a sleep mask, ear plugs and a fan to keep you cool. These are tiny tools that can help you sleep deeply and well. Also, busy mama, be ready to say “no” more often to others so that you can say “yes” to yourself and the sleep you need and deserve.

You can’t give your best without enough rest. How much sleep will you allow yourself to get tonight?

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