It never fails- I’ve had a long day. I’ve had a million things on my plate, a million tasks to accomplish, and too many things to keep track of. I’m downright exhausted, and all I want to do is fall into my bed and spend the next eight hours in blissful, unconscious rest.
So why can’t I turn my brain off and fall asleep?
If you suffer from anxiety, this experience is far too familiar for your liking. We are exhausted, but our poorly wired brains won’t give it a rest so that we can GET some rest. One thought spirals into the next, and before you know it you’re agonizing about that comment you made to Sharon three days ago and if she’ll hate you forever because of it.
No? Just me?
At any rate, if you have difficulty falling asleep because your thoughts just won’t quit, we want you to know that you’re not alone. We’ve been there (you know, only like, every night or so). And as a result, we’ve come up with some fool-proof strategies to help you shut down your brain and fall asleep fast.
Driving down to the cruise terminal, I was excited, anxious, and had a list of things that I was – and was NOT – going to do. Then a wind came by and those rules were GONE with it. So, in the grand traditions of buffets, check out our list of rules, take what you like, and if you don’t end up using it – who cares? You can always come back for more later!
Don’t Think About the Kids
Okay, so we didn’t really think we were going to keep this one, but we just didn’t want our whole trip to be us talking nonstop about our kids. Especially since we are doing this to get a break from them. We love our kids, but it would be nice for the chance to also miss our kids. Which is how two days in I ended up sitting there waiting for Harry Potter Trivia to start scrolling through every picture I’ve ever taken of my kids. And damn, those kids are cute. Looking at those cute little faces, you can almost forget the tantrums, the sass, the specific requests they have for which water cup to use….and then I shut it down, turn back to my friends, and get my trivia on.
Enjoy, But Don’t Over Indulge
One of the best things about a cruise is all that food that I didn’t cook – and don’t have to clean up after. As Moms, we rarely get to scarf down a piece of toast while it’s still warm, so a luxurious 6 course meal is the ultimate in luxury. Which means we ate that way every single night. Thinking a hamburger sounds good while you’re sitting in the jacuzzi? It’s only 100 feet away! Go for it! Need a little chocolate? Oh, there’s a chocolate buffet at noon today! Can’t decide between steak and eggs and Fruit Loop crusted French toast? GET BOTH!
No indulgence is too much, and yes, you and your crew may spend the entire day you get home frantically texting people about how much weight you gained in 72 hours but you won’t get to eat that way for another year, so don’t worry about it!
This post was sponsored by VitalSleep. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. Also, this post contains affiliate links. You can read more at our Legal page. Thank you!
As a Mom, getting quality sleep is like the Holy Grail. Elusive, hard to find, and just when you think you’re about to get it – someone pees their bed. Okay, maybe the analogy went a little off the rails there, but you know what I mean. Between our kids’ nightmares, midnight feedings, bed wettings, growing pains and the classic “need to snuggle,” we are fighting an uphill battle. We just end up more tired and more desperate to get better sleep.
Then I realized that I was not helping the cause with my own bad habits. I thought to all the times I begged for advice on how to get my babies to sleep and came to the conclusion that I didn’t follow any of that advice for me. I had no routine. My sleep space wasn’t ideal. I just wasn’t setting myself up for success. All the things I did to help my baby, I should have been doing for myself as well.
Once upon a time, I was a young, naïve person, that thought sleep was just a basic human right. Maybe it was written into the Constitution even…the Ten Commandments? I command thee to sleep! It made sense to me. Because whatever the case, I basically went to bed when I wanted to and woke up when I wanted to. Sure I had a job that required me to get to work by 8:30, but I – perhaps foolishly – considered myself a “morning person” and never had a problem with that schedule.
I wasn’t one of those losers that sleeps the day away.
And I realized that sleep is no right. It’s a privilege. Nay, it’s a down right luxury.
In case I forgot? My kids got me up at 4am today – while I’m on vacation. I took a walk with the baby in the pitch dark. Watched the sunrise. Got some work done. And was grumpy as hell about it. Because I may be a “morning person” but I have a strong belief that anything before 6am is NOT the morning. That is the middle of the night.
If you’re caught in the complete physical and mental mind eff that is zero sleep, and absolutely understand why sleep deprivation is considered torture, here are three little tips to help you enjoy the sweet, sweet, luxury that is sleep. At least once in a while.
This will probably work a MAX of one day a week. But hell, it’s gotta be better than zero days a year. Just think, if you play it right maybe you could sleep until 7 or – gasp – EIGHT! Like FIFTY TWO TIMES next year!! All you need to do is get the buy in from your partner. Have a loving conversation where you gently explain that you are so tired you might die. And make a deal. You’ll get up and keep everyone quiet on Saturdays, if they do Sundays. Or vice versa. Or trade off days. Whatever it is, make a deal. Reap the benefits. My loving conversation looked like this:
Me: Dude. I need you to get up with the kids once in a while or I’m going to die. Or you’re going to die. I’m not sure which yet, but someone’s gonna die if I can’t close my eyes.
Him: I don’t wanna die.
Me: Then you get up tomorrow with the kids and make them quiet. Take them in the yard. Take them to breakfast. Take them to Mexico. I don’t care. Mommy sleeps.
Hold on, lemme give you a minute to stop laughing.
Cool? Okay, hear me out. This may only work if you have nap-age kids. Or kids in school that are gone. Or you can use your partner on the weekend using the same conversation strategy as in tip #1.
If you’re working with nap age kids or school age kids and you’re home, it’s actually a pretty simple plan. You just. Freaking. Sleep. Yes, you have a MILLION things to do, so you can’t do this every day. So once a week the laundry piles up a little more. Or the dishes don’t get done. You’ll survive. The house won’t burn down. The mess can get cleaned up later. But you NEED to sleep.
If none of those are options, this is the one time you actually can throw money at the sleep problem. Hire a babysitter to watch the kids, while you nap. Yes, this is a thing. No comment on how I know.
Go the eff to bed.
I’ve never been a late night person. I like to go to bed. But I had some built in sense of shame that knew it was super pathetic to fall asleep before ten. So I didn’t. I stayed up. Sometimes I had stuff to do. Other times, I tried to relax. (Because let’s face it, relaxation can be as elusive a luxury as sleep!)
But recently? I decided that if I wanted to go to sleep at 8:18, three minutes after I got all the kids down? Then that’s what I was going to do. Because I was going to be up all night with the baby, and up at dawn with all the kids, so let’s at least go to bed early AF.
Now, will this fix how chronically exhausted you are? No, not even put a dent in it. But once in a while, it’s nice to just indulge in the little luxury of sleep.