Have you ever gotten to the end of the day, you’ve put your kids to bed, there’s dishes in the sink from dinner, there’s a random sticky spot on the floor over there, but you’re so tired, you just fall onto your bed?
Then you realize, “crap, I’m still wearing my shoes and makeup”.
But, at that point, you don’t care. You just kick off your shoes and don’t even bother to pull up the covers, you just pass out with the light still on.
And then, at 1:30am, you wake up with a jump and your eyes are sealed shut by the makeup you should have taken off, you’re tangled up in your clothes so tightly that you almost have a panic attack because you think for a split second that your tomb stone is going to read:
“Death by Cardigan”.
The light, however, is at least off and your hubby is sleeping. So you get up and wash your face and get your pajamas on and you get back in bed.
But, your toddler heard you rummaging around and she’s now hollering for mama to come get her.
Now, you have to go in there and settle her back in. Then your one year old wakes up because you’re trying to get his sister back to sleep and your husband wakes up and wants to know what’s going on and all you want to do is just scream
“EVERYBODY GO TO SLEEP for the love of stuffed animals!”
Everybody is back to sleep and it’s now 3:00AM. And you’re now staring at the ceiling wondering why God didn’t create unicorns. Because Unicorns are awesome and I’m you’re not talking pink and rainbow unicorns, you’re talking like, a majestic female, real horse looking unicorn. You know, one that you’d be proud to ride in the front of battle.
Theeennnnn next thing you know your alarm is yelling at you 3 hours later.
WHAT GIVES, right???
And so goes the life of a wife and mama.
What’s a mama to do about getting some quality sleep around here?
I’ll tell ya, I’m a stress ball a lot of times and the worst time for my stressful mind? Right before bed.
Because, I tend to torture myself with all the things I “didn’t get done” instead of focusing on what I did get done, and the time that I spent with my hubby and son, and the time I spent with my clients, etc.
Bedtime routines are vital for a healthy lifestyle.
And, especially when you’re on a weight loss journey, getting quality sleep is going to play a huge factor into your success of weight loss.
So, let’s put our science hats on for a minute and play the science game really fast.
Our bodies have these things called neurotransmitters and the ones that is the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter is the one called serotonin.
Serotonin is super important because if we are feeling down and ‘blue’, often, it’s because we’re over tired and it can effect our enjoyment of activities we normally enjoy.
Not only is Serotonin the ‘happy’ chemical in our bodies, it is the one that precedes the sleep hormone called melatonin.
Have you ever asked your doc about what you can take to help with your sleep? I know I have and I told her I didn’t want medicine. She recommended taking over the counter melatonin (remember, ask your OWN doctor before you take ANYTHING!) for me to help me sleep.
It did amazing things. I don’t need it as much now, but it did help me a lot a few years ago.
This all ties together, so follow the bouncing ball here…
If our neurotransmitters such as serotonin and melatonin are not working together properly and firing properly for whatever reason, it can lead to compromised sleep and even hunger levels.
Which leads me to creating a bedtime routine.
Is a bedtime routine important? Short answer? Yes.
The importance of a bedtime routine really can’t be stressed enough.
Sometimes we have outside forces that we absolutely cannot control that will either wake us up at night (hello kids) or we’ll be out late because of this activity or that activity.
But on the norm, we should be doing the same thing every night to start getting our bodies into routine letting our body know,
“Hey my gal, you’re about to go to sleep, are you excited?”
And your body will be like, “Heck yeah I am.” Okay, it may not talk like that, but you get my point here.
We do a bedtime routine for our kids don’t we? Yep! They know that after dinner, it’s bath time, brushing of the teeth, story time, prayers, then sleep.
They know because they do it every single night.
Same goes for us. We must create our own bedtime routine.
I personally have a routine that really helps me calm my mind. It includes doing relaxing things like washing my face and just personal grooming, stretching when needed, but also spending time with my hubby talking about our days and hashing out what has happened during the week or what’s coming up.
It’s basically like a brain dump of everything that is rolling around in my head that is stressing me out.
You’ll notice in the below routine, that the talk session happens after our toddler is in bed and we’ve had a chance to do a few relaxing things first.
It really puts us in a good frame of mind to have a solid conversation.
Here’s an example of mine that you can build off of if you’d like:
- Put Joshua to bed
- Choose one chore to accomplish (dishes, fold a load of laundry, etc.)
- Go wash my face/brush my teeth/brush hair, etc.
- Change my clothes
- Sometimes I’ll stretch if it’s been a particularly rough day
- Spend time with the hubby
- Watch a show that is not stressful or I’ll read
- Turn out my lamp and go to sleep
Now, with the craziness of life, it’s just not feasible to do this every single night, but you know what?
This happens at least 5 times a week. And the nights that I do this, are the nights that I sleep the best.
This is because my serotonin is kicking in because I’m doing relaxing things and I’m feeling happier and the relaxation helps with the melatonin and then when everything works together… Bam. Sleep.
It’s amazing, right?
Our bodies were created to be these wonderfully complex things that we may or may not understand all of the time and that’s completely okay.
This is where learning a lifestyle comes in.
And in learning this lifestyle of healthy living, comes learning your body. Learning what your body is trying to tell you and when there is an issue and when there isn’t.
The learning process for your body is an ongoing and ever changing process, but it is doable.
Learning your body helps you to not only reach your fitness goals, but to reach them faster.
This includes a solid bedtime routine.
So, is a bedtime routine important? Yep Yep and YEP!
Protecting that time around your own personal bedtime to get solid sleep and be able to relax before trying to go to sleep.
Will you go to bed with your house still looking like a tornado went through? Yep, you probably will.
And that’s something that you’re going to have to get over.
Because, your kiddos are not going to remember a clean or dirty house. They’re going to remember a rested mama. A mama that wants to play with them and spend time with them.
They’ll remember that mama wasn’t cranky all the time because she was so tired from not sleeping well because she’s so stretched thin she can’t even see straight.
The choice is yours, mama.
Create the bedtime routine for yourself, yes. But do it for your family too. Because you being completely exhausted all of the time isn’t good for anybody.