A good night's sleep is easier said than done when you have kids, a career, and your own personal sanity to keep track off. Maybe your child keeps you awake all night crying or maybe your teenager sneaks out of the house to go party. Either way, you’re not sleeping tonight and the next day is going to be a foggy blur of disorganization and forgotten promises. How can you be an effective mother when all you want to do is go back to bed?
In a 2018 study published by the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, researchers discovered that mothers who did not get enough sleep or took a long time to fall asleep were more likely to “engage in permissive parenting.” Lack of sleep affected the mother’s focus, mood, and consistency. These tired mothers were distracted, upset, and stressed and in turn lacked the energy and discipline needed to parent their children effectively. This type of parenting affected their children's health, as children were more likely to engage in risky and dangerous behaviors. Children in the study stated they believed they could get away with much more when their parent was tired.
So what can mothers do to improve their quality of sleep to ensure good parenting? The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School makes several suggestions for catching a good night's sleep.
Their first tip is to create a regular and consistent sleep schedule, as your body will adapt to wake up and fall asleep easily at the same time every day. Mothers should strive to create a routine for their children as well, as by creating a family routine, sleep will be maximized and there will be fewer disruptions throughout the night.
They also suggest creating a calm and relaxing environment, free of bright lights and clocks. Games, phones, and televisions should be shut off close to bedtime as blue light from these electronic devices delays the production of the body's primary sleep hormone, melatonin. Instead, families can engage in relaxing night time activities, such as yoga, a board game, or reading. Lastly, mothers and children alike should put down the soda or coffee after noon. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and will keep you and your children up at night, buzzing around. Moms should opt for herbal tea or decaffeinated soda and offer alternatives for their children as well.
Finally, if you're a mother and you are still finding it difficult to sleep and thus parent at your best, then invest in Som Sleep. The non-habit forming sleep drink is not only tasty and affordable, but it will also leave you feeling refreshed, focused, and ready the next day to tackle your work and family duties.