Sleep the final frontier. Sleep is something I’ve always struggled with once becoming a mom. I doubt I’m alone. You know that thing veteran parents do when they tell you how it gets easier after the newborn stage? And then they say the same thing after the toddler stage? And then… It does apparently. That being said, sleep is one of those things we moms just accept happens for about 4 hours a night and is fueled by too much coffee and shall repeat itself forever and ever amen.
So to start my journey I decided to make a poll to get a scope of where the majority of typical moms landed when it came to be early risers.
90% of those who answered my question said they were morning risers against their will because kids are rude. This is a common theme, and I think why it’s so hard to be an early riser as a mom. Kids. They have their own body clocks and they are never synced with ours.
A Content Creator who goes by But First Coffee Has been an early riser for some years (And is soon to have her 3rd child), and as someone who followed her for some time, I’ve toyed with the idea of adopting the habit. Well, I feel as though I have no more excuses. I mean I could keep doing what I’m doing but frankly what’s the fun in that?
Kali says to set your ‘go to sleep time’ and your ‘wakeup time.’ She stated (through backed-up research that you can find in the video) that 7 hours is ‘the sweet spot’. So my bedtime will be 10:30 pm and my wake-up will be 5:30 am. She says 10 min wiggle room is fine but being as strict as possible is best. Next, I need to make a bedtime routine that is short and sweet. My goal is to be in bed by 10:00. I’ll spend 15 min or so getting myself ready for sleep (Meditation, reading, deep breathing), And then lights out.
Another thing Kali mentioned was to have a purpose to wake up for. That could be as small as some epic coffee and a quiet house, or as big as refurnishing a chair.
My 30 Day Sleep Challenge
Week 1 Check-in: So one week in and there were some ups and downs. One day I forgot to set my alarm and woke up at 6. I resolved that and made it 4 days in a row going to bed at 10:30 and waking at 5:30. My productivity jumped! I also loved having time to myself to prep for the day. I’m using one of the thousand untouched journals I own.
Now vacation was a different story. Having to insure I didn’t wake others and had the opportunity to get something productive done was difficult. I also , pushed myself a bit too hard and ended up with a flair-up. I took the night when we got back to go to bed by 9 and slept till 7. That seemed to do the trick on getting back to a better place.
Week 2 Check-in: I’ve toyed a lot with my wake-up time. Some days it was 5:30, and some days it was closer to 6. Something I hate to admit was my sleep was improving. I fall asleep quickly and find myself less groggy. Maybe there’s something to this personal responsibility thing.
Week 3 Check-in: My consistency has been that of a 3-year-old trying to color in the lines. There have been nights my daughter had difficulty sleeping, and nights my cough caused by allergies kept me up. Poor sleep meant a low desire to get up at 5:30. The days I did manage to get up, I was groggy and feeling like roadkill. Hopefully, in the last week of this challenge, I can get back on track.
Narrator voice: “She did not.”
Final Check-in: The last week was more consistent but not perfect. That being said, there were two major successes in this. One, my sleep quality is pretty great now. I think this is due to various factors. I stopped sleeping in. I love sleeping in, especially when my toddler would let me. But, the random wake-up times left me worse for wear. As long as I keep my sleep in that 7 or 8-hour range I would avoid the sluggish slump that would come later. Simply having a set schedule would set my body up for falling asleep fast. Even with wakeups from a kid who had a nightmare, I was still getting better sleep than before this challenge.
That leads me to my final point that I simply hate to admit with every fiber in my body.
Bedtime routines are just as important for adults as they are for our kids.
This means doing a checklist of the same things every night. You do them at the same time every night. Also, Be rid of the screens 30 min before bed. I know I know, meme queens and Instagram scrollers hate this one simple trick to becoming a boring adult. But for real my guys, I got back into reading. I slowed down and spend 5 min breathing slowly. All of this added to my falling asleep within 5 min of lights out. It took a few weeks to train my body to do this but I can say I don’t regret it. I may not be a perfect early-bird mom with lists and schedules but what I did was beneficial for me, my mental health, and my well-being.
Are you willing to take on the challenge?