Thursday, January 29, 2015

8 Sleep Tactics We Use for Our Children & Need to Use for Ourselves

The same sleep tactics we use to get our children to sleep should also be used to get ourselves better sleep. Being an adult doesn't mean that we're doomed to be sleepless zombies, yet that's what so many of us are.

Parents know the struggle of trying to get their kids to bed, especially when they need to get up for school the next morning. We research, we ask the pediatrician, and we ask our friends for their best tips, all in an effort to get our kids to sleep and to stay asleep, but why aren't we taking the same advice for ourselves? Instead, we stay up late, stare at the clock, snack, watch tv, lie in bed worrying, and get frustrated when we can't sleep well or at all.

We want to be sure that our kids get enough sleep because we know it's good for them. Sleep can benefit their memory, their growth, their psychological and mental health, it lowers the risk for obesity, gives them optimal alertness, strengthens their immune system, keeps the heart healthy, and reduces the risk of diabetes. With all those benefits, of course we want them to sleep well! But, guess what... you get the same benefits from sleep!

How do we get the quality sleep that we dream of?

8 Sleep Tactics We Use for Our Children & Need to Use for Ourselves

Here are some of the sleep tips we use with children that we need to start using on ourselves.

1. Get more exercise, especially outdoors. It's a fact that most of us, adults and children, are not getting enough exercise. Getting sufficient exercise that ends at least 3 hours before bed will improve the quality of our sleep.

2. Get up at the same time every day. My daughter has ADHD and this was one of the things her doctor told me to do. He told me to wake her up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays, in order to set her sleep clock. He said this would help improve her sleep, her mood, and her behavior. It definitely helps.

3. Eliminate caffeine. If you can't give it up entirely, at least don't have any after about 4pm. Sometimes it can take as long as 24 hours for caffeine to leave our systems. Caffeine can keep us from falling asleep or can cause us to wake up frequently. For me, if I have caffeine too close to bedtime I have the craziest dreams and they always wake me up.

4. Take short naps in the afternoon. With my first daughter I would dread when she came home from school cranky and would fall asleep. I hated waking her, but I knew that if I didn't that she wouldn't go to sleep easily that night. The timing of our naps and the duration can affect our sleep at night. They can't be taken too close to bedtime or last too long. Napping can be beneficial for some, but I am terrible at naps and always wake feeling worse. But for adults who can nap, it is best to take short naps, about 20 minutes long, and taking them between 2 and 3 pm.

5. Turn off the screens. If there's a show that you like watching in the evening, keep all other lights turned down low. Otherwise, just set a time to shut the screens and noise off. This includes the TV, computer, phones, radio, and whatever else you may have. Also don't have a TV or radio in the bedroom, which can affect your sleep. My daughter goes to bed at 8:30pm, and she's not allowed to play on the phone or watch TV after 7pm.

6. Write down tomorrow's to-do list before bed. Do this in another room of the house, not the bedroom. Kids need down-time. They need that time at the end of the day to talk about their day, their worries, and their dreams. We need this too. Whether this means talking, not arguing or talking finances, with your partner or writing things down on a post-it note or in a journal, take time to get some of those thoughts out so that your mind is uncluttered when it's time for bed.

7. Have a bedtime routine. This is a big one that we do with kids. In the evenings they do their homework, have dinner, take a bath, have storytime, and then the lights go out. All of this helps to slow them down and prepare them for sleep.We thrive on routines. Try coming up with your own bedtime routine that can help you wind down toward sleep.

8. Use lavender. Have you ever noticed how baby shampoos and lotions contain a lavender scent? It's because lavender helps us to relax by easing anxiety and insomnia, which then helps us to sleep. My favorite is to spray my pillow with the Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist by Bath & Body Works. It smells amazing!

There ya have it! Tonight when you're enforcing bedtime with your kids, just do some of the same things to yourself and you just might sleep like a baby!

What are some sleep tips that you have tried that work for you?

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My Journal of Positivity

This year I have decided that one of the things I want to do is focus on good things. There's too much negativity in the world so I have decided to keep a journal of positivity.

Journal of Positivity

In this journal I will be writing down inspiring quotes, bible verses and sermon notes, cute things my girls do or say, things I see or hear that inspire me, ideas, dreams, goals, even blog post ideas.

I'm hoping that this will be a way for me to stay more upbeat and focus on the positive. If I'm having a bad day I can just look through my journal of positivity.

Do you have a place where you right down all the good things?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mail from Germany

Yesterday I received an expected delivery from my parents with an unexpected envelope inside. It was so unexpected that I thought it must have been a letter that just got lost at my parents' house some time ago and they just recently found it.

The envelope had the name of a friend on it. Her name is Annika. I met Annika when I was in high school. She was an exchange student from Germany and was staying with a friend of mine. I loved listening to her talk and hearing about how life was in Germany. It was such a great learning experience.

When her time was up in the states and she went back home, we kept in contact through letters. We wrote for a few years. Our correspondence began to taper off on both ends. Life kinda just took over, I suppose, and we lost track of each other. We've not spoken in probably ten years, so you can see why I thought this was just a lost letter.

But to my surprise, this is what I found in the envelope.

On the back she wrote, "Christmas brings such a time of love, each tender heart holds so much, unselfishness thrives, trust is strong, the purpose to give, send love along. A time of pleasantries, patience, too. Good wishes to all, all feelings true." She also mentioned that they are expecting their second baby this summer.

This all put a smile on my face. It's been so long since we've talked. I just wish I could decipher her handwriting so I could write her back. I think I may just cut off the return address and glue it to an envelope. That works, right?

When you were in school did you have an exchange student or penpal overseas? Do you still keep in touch?

I'm looking forward to revisiting this friendship.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015


Exciting news!! I just attached my registered domain name to my blog! Woot! Sucky part was that I had to set up my RSS feed all over again so I could add my blog back to Bloglovin'. Nightmare. Took for-eh-verrrrrr (insert Sandlot kid). But it's finally fixed! My blog is now back on Bloglovin'! If you're not already, be sure to go follow me on there. You can follow all your favorite blogs and get updates as soon as your favorite bloggers publish a new post! Yay!!!

So right here... Click that link and you can follow me to get updated when I publish a new post. That way you won't miss any awesomeness! :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Ahh, c'mon... It seriously took me all day (and with a computer guru's help) to get it fixed. You don't want that time to be wasted, do you?

Thanks so much! My readers rock!!

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