“Do but consider what an excellent thing sleep is; it is so inestimable a jewel that if a tyrant would give his crown for an hour’s slumber, it cannot be bought; yea, so greatly are we indebted to this kinsman of death, that we owe the better tributary half of our life to him; and there is good cause why we should do so; for sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker
When you have young children a broken night’s sleep is the usual rather than the exception.
“That’s just life,” you tell yourself. Wanting time alone, means it is also tempting to stay up late at night just to do something you want to do. You become a bedtime procrastinator. Dragging yourself out of bed becomes common place and you learn to survive on much less sleep than the eight hours that most experts recommend.
Getting the right amount of sleep, finding time for a nap or rest would be on nearly all homeschool mothers’ wish list.
In our sleep deprived state this precious indulgence seems impossible to fit in with all the things we have on our daily to-do-list. And how can more sleep possibly help us get more time in our day.
- Sleeping helps you stay sharp. When you are tired your mental performance is dulled and you find it harder to think, focus and make quick decisions.
- Sleeping helps you learn, grow and remember. Many studies are now talking about the importance of dreaming for processing our day and sorting out the complexities of what happens in our waking hours.
- Sleep refreshes our emotional state. You are less irritable and moody when you have slept well.
- Sleep rejuvenates your body. Your body clock works much better when you are sleeping well. Weight gain, high blood pressure, fatigue, depression and more are all associated with a lack of sleep.
And don’t forget that your children also need more sleep than you. Regular bed times for them will help them establish good sleep routines and ensure they get their needed sleep.
How much sleep do you get?
Don’t count the time you are in bed lying there trying to fall asleep but the time you actually sleep. If you need more sleep then here are a few ideas to help you get more:
- Decide on a realistic bedtime for you and the kids.
- Establish a sleeping ritual such as a warm shower, herbal tea, a novel, and a chat with your husband before bed.
- Exercise during the day but not just before bed. Research shows morning and afternoon exercise benefits your sleep.
- Dim the lights and shut off screens and devices an hour before bed is recommended.
- If you are prone to over thinking when you get to bed then practice writing down your worries or to-do-list before bed as a tool to help you forget about duties.
Take an afternoon nap during the day when possible. I did this religiously for the first 8 years after I became a mother. I still regularly take a daily nap.
Set up a routine at home for naps. My kids were trained to go and rest in their rooms for this time while the baby or toddler slept. They were to lie on their bed, read books or play quietly in their room. Switch off your phone. Set a timer if you need to.
Don’t feel lazy taking a daily nap.
Even the corporate world is harnessing the power of the nap as a secret weapon for productivity and mental acuity.
Just 20 minutes will give you an energy boost and help you get over the mid-day slump.
For more healthy habits for your homeschool download my free ebook.