I came across an article in Psychology Today discussing the quantity versus quality of sleep. It said moms of newborns are getting 7.2 hours of sleep a night. Yes, I blurted out the question you are all thinking…who are those moms and who is feeding their babies?!
I don’t get 7.2 hours of sleep now let alone when my kids were newborns! Once I calmed down, I read on that the point they were making is that the 7.2 hours was broken out throughout the night. I’m sorry, but 7 total hours in 2-hour increments does not equal a good night’s sleep, I don’t care who you are. Enter the point of the article- “The old adage of quality trumps quantity rings true”.
It often seems the only time I have to get anything done is after the kids go to bed. But by that time, it’s getting late and I am tired. Yet I usually conquer through it in order to get my life in order each evening, or at least to ensure I empty the dishwasher and pack lunches. By the time my husband and I head up to bed it’s too late. I am already less than eight hours away from needing to be at my desk.
Earlier this year, I wrote about realistic resolutions for the New Year. One of them was that I was going to go to bed 20 minutes earlier most nights. Confession: this resolution is not going well. Instead of meeting the mark on most nights, I am hitting the mark on some nights. Better than no nights, I suppose.
One thing I have been focusing on this year is my quality of sleep. When my head finally hits the pillow, I don’t want to be tossing and turning. I have come across a few tools that help me fall asleep fast.
- Sleep Mask. I was laughing at my husband back in December for having this sleep mask on his Amazon Wish List. For some reason, they always remind me of a damsel in distress from the movies. However, as I thought more about it, I became interested and added it to my list. I am not kidding when I say it was the best Christmas present I received. This particular one also fully covers your ears, which helps drown out noises (don’t worry, you will still fully hear children crying…that’s what ear plugs are for). It’s soft and completely adjustable. I look forward to going to bed knowing I get to put this on!
- Sound Machine. I have friends who are opposed to a sound machine but my husband and I love ours. It’s $50 but it’s something you use every single day so I justified the price pretty easily.
- Blue Light Blocking Glasses. I put these on about an hour before I go to sleep. They are found to block blue light (from screens like tv, cell phones, etc.), which can interfere with sleep cycles.
- A King Bed. After years of sleeping comfortably on a queen mattress, my son turned five and decided he liked coming into our room at about 4am. At 4am, I have maybe an hour of sleep left so I don’t even battle getting him back to his own bed. My husband and I sprung for a king sized bed with the most amazing mattress I have ever slept on.
- Melatonin. On nights where I fear I’ll be tossing and turning, I will take 3-6 milligrams of melatonin. You can find it at any pharmacy or grocery store. An all natural way to cause me to get drowsy. Love it!
When quantity is limited, what tools do you use to ensure your quality is the best it can be?