A close friend once told me, “Being a mom is exhausting. I have to take a nap to become tired!” 

No matter what age your child is, you probably aren’t getting enough sleep. If you’re caring for a newborn, you are breastfeeding or making bottles in the middle of the night. If you are raising a toddler, your little one most likely wakes up when the sun comes up, even on the weekend. Got older children? You may skip sleep to chauffeur elementary and middle schoolers to sporting events, study groups and birthday parties. And if you’re like me, when your head finally hits the pillow, you are thinking about your to-do list for the next day. So, how can single moms sleep better?

meditating during a sound bath for better sleep Why Better Sleep Is Important

Often, moms ensure their children get the recommended amount of sleep, which can be anywhere from 8-14 hours a day for teens to toddlers. But did you know that adults should get at least seven hours of sleep?

When you go to bed on time, you get sick less often, reduce stress, improve your mood, and lower your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Sounds simple, but for single moms, sleep can fall to the bottom of our priorities, especially when we work beyond our capacity, ignoring the need to rest and reconnect.

How Single Moms Can Sleep Better 

That’s one reason why Single Mom Defined hosted our first mini-retreat over the weekend. We brought together a group of moms for an afternoon of stillness and peace. Participants paper shredded their frustrations in a negative energy release exercise, cleared their minds during a sound bath, and created affirmation jars. Although the event lasted only a few hours, we walked away with techniques to take better care of ourselves throughout the week. Here’s what we learned.

Don't keep stress bottled in 1. Don’t Keep Stress Bottled Up

In an exercise to release negative energy, we wrote down our fears, frustrations or grudges.  Some moms shared what bothered them before putting the paper through the shredder. This act was symbolic of letting go of past pains and making room for future blessings. By releasing negative energy, you’re able to sleep better at night. You don’t have to toss and turn worrying about something out of your control.

2. Set the Mood

Close the curtains and turn off the lights! If there is still daylight slipping through, utilize an eye pillow. Or, put up heavy curtains or shades to block the light. Spray a calming scent, like lavender, eucalyptus or chamomile, on your pillow and sheets. You can also fall asleep to sleep meditations on the Abide or Calm apps. 

Set the mood. 3. Limit Distractions 

Turn off the notifications on your phone. If possible, place the phone in another room or beyond arm’s reach. Also, avoid screen time right before bedtime. I have a no television in the bedroom rule. 

4. Sip a Cup of Tea

Avoid caffeine or alcohol before bedtime. Instead, brew a hot cup of tea to unwind after a  long day. Chamomile, magnolia, lavender or passionflower have been said to improve sleep quality, decrease stress and anxiety, and help you fall asleep faster. Just be sure to drink tea an hour or two before you go to sleep, to prevent having to run to the restroom in the middle of the night. 

5. Eat Light

Don’t eat a heavy meal before bedtime. If you do need a snack, sleep experts recommend opting for turkey, whole-grain, low-sugar cereal, bananas, milk or yogurt. 

6. Stretch Your Body and Mind

Take 15-20 minutes before bedtime to stretch your body and mind. How? Consider restorative yoga. Restorative yoga is a meditative practice that aims to calm your mind and body by using gentle poses to release tension in your body while focusing on your breath. 

Hey mamas! How can single moms sleep better? What tips do you have?

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