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Tips For Establishing (and Keeping) Good Sleep Habits

Once you fall into a bad sleeping pattern, it can be a monumental task getting out of it. Whether you are a new mom and have a little baby waking you constantly throughout the night or you are a seasoned mom burning the midnight oil to get everything done, establishing good sleep habits may be the last thing on your mind. Your usual routines go out the window, and you end up developing poor habits. 

The good news is that you can improve your sleep hygiene, even when you are juggling a million other things such as motherhood, work, friends, and more.

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Avoid Daytime Naps
One of the biggest challenges we face as new moms and busy moms is avoiding sleeping during the day when you are exhausted. It’s important to stick to a routine as much as possible, or you will end up developing habits that will be hard to break at a later stage. Your natural body clock needs to be maintained, although there is a little leeway for making changes according to your baby’s sleep patterns. If you have to sleep because you are too tired to carry on without it, make sure you do so before 3 pm - and time after that will impact on your sleep hygiene far too much.

Improve and Optimize Your Sleeping Environment
There are a few things you need to do to ensure your sleeping environment allows you to get the best possible sleep when you can. Invest in a good mattress, and make sure that your room is the right temperature - somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees is often thought to be perfect. As you will see from reviews online, the blankets and sheets you use can also have a significant impact on your sleep, so choose natural, lightweight materials that will keep you cool during summer and warm during the winter. And finally, try and get more control over the noise in your room. While your subconscious will be attuned to your baby’s cries, other noise will wake you up as well, so consider using a source of white noise to help block out external sounds.

Develop a Bedtime Ritual
I've never been a good sleeper. I've always thought of sleep as a waste of time until I realized how it's essential for my health and well-being. Also, establishing a good bedtime ritual has made the difference between dreading going to bed and looking forward to it. If you are a new mom, your baby will be all over the place with regards to sleeping patterns. But don’t panic - things will settle down, and you won't be at the mercy of the baby's sleep schedule forever.

If you are not a new mom and have some flexibility in the evenings before heading to bed, put together a nightly ritual that you'll look forward to every night and that prepares you for bedtime. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and avoid doing anything too active. Read books instead of watching TV, and never expose yourself to bright light before going to bed - you will be telling your brain it is time to wake up, not go to sleep.

Wake At The Same Time Every Day
Finally, believe it or not, the most important aspect of your ritual is to wake up at the same time every day. If you can stick to this for as long as possible, you will find your body clock starts to tell you when you need to go to bed. It’s important to do this on the weekends, too - don’t try and catch up as you will mess with your natural rhythms.

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