Show of hands for all the mamas out there who struggle with sleep! As moms, sleep can feel like a luxury. We wear our sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. But sleep is absolutely essential to our overall well being.
Sleep has been a struggle for me since childhood. Ask my mother and she will tell you of her woes trying to get me to sleep. Sorry, mom! I totally sympathize with you now.
Two of my three kids struggled with sleep. Mr. Middle could only sleep in 45 minute increments if he was being held and my littlest lady woke up every three hours consistently until well after her first birthday. All you mamas out there who have kids that don’t sleep, I can relate. I know how hard it is. Please know that it is not forever. All three of my kids are now consistently sleeping through the night.
That is why I am finally taking it upon myself to get more sleep. For the month of June, the happiness habit I am implementing is to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. As you know, I am waking up early, so that means I need to be in bed by 9:45 in order to make this work. .
This will be a challenge for me, but I know that I need it, so I am willing to do what it takes. There are so many positive benefits to getting enough sleep. Once you read about them, I think you will agree
I have had a serious case of mom brain ever since my first pregnancy. I didn’t even know pregnant brain or mom brain was a thing until I had it myself. It has only gotten worse with more pregnancies. Dealing with kids every day has turned my, once intelligent, brain to scrambled eggs. My long lost memory is something I lament over constantly. Sleep has been proven to improve memory retention, something I desperately need. (Source)
Immune System Function
As the ones in charge of managing the household, we can’t afford to get sick. Now that my oldest is school age, he seems to bring every little bug home with him. I want to do my part to keep myself healthy so I can be at my best for my family. When you don’t sleep enough, your body releases inflammatory compounds which lead to illness and weaken your immune system. On the other hand, when you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, your body releases cytokines which fight inflammation and infection. (source)
Helps Manage Your Appetite
Not getting enough sleep increases your risk for obesity. This is because the more you stay up, the more fuel your body needs to keep running leading your brain to release chemicals to signal hunger. I know for myself that the later I stay up, the more I want to snack, and the less control I have over my ability to choose something healthy and opt for sweets. Being tired also makes me want a yummy treat to help me feel better. This is definitely one of the reasons I struggled with my Happiness Habit #3.
Not sleeping enough increases the body’s energy needs, meaning we have less energy to expend. As a result, we eat more, exercise less and gain weight. You all know I have not been doing well with exercising, and my lack of sleep could very well be the reason why. My body is trying to conserve energy just to make it through the day. Getting enough sleep increases our expendable energy, which we could all use more of.
It’s no secret that we are not our best selves when we are tired. When you do not get enough sleep, you are more likely to have repetitive negative thoughts and feel overwhelmed (source). I know that when I do not get enough sleep, I have much less patience for my kids. I feel much better about myself when I can be a calm mom. When I’m calm, my kids seem to be as well. This is one of the major reasons I decided to make sleep this month’s happiness habit.
I am looking forward to getting more zzz’s. This happiness habit is long overdue.Here’s to improved health, more energy, and a positive mood!
More From This Series:
Year Of Joyfulness – Progress To Date
Joyful Habit #5, Mini Habit 4
Joyful Habit #5, Mini Habit 3
Joyful Habit #5, Mini Habit 2
Joyful Habit #5, Mini Habit 1
Joyful Habit #5 – 5 Unexpected Ways A Clean Home Makes You Happier
Joyful Habit #4 – Exercise
Joyful Habit #3 – Eating For Happiness
Joyful Habit #2 – Wake Up Earlier
Joyful Habit #1 – Positive Mindset
Finding Joy In 2017