11 Ideas for Better Sleep and Mornings for Parents That Hate Mornings

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Parenting and MorningsSo I wrote about my sleep and morning routine issues a bit ago. I thought I’d update. Some things have been awesome and working well. Others not so well. Then I do things that I know I shouldn’t and I’m dying the next day. Like last night. Last night I had some popcorn and Irish Cream (dessert wine- the not-so-heavy version) before I took the sleeping herbs. Never again. 

I don’t think I slept more than 30 minutes at a time. If it wasn’t me just laying there and not able to wake up, it was something creaking, meowing, blowing (wind), tapping, or general ‘it’s too silent’ weirdness. I woke up this morning like a zombie and haven’t been able to recover yet. It’s 2 PM. blech.

The temperature is also in the process of dropping about 30 degrees this week. I haven’t noticed the drastic change doing anything to sleep other than it’s been sooo comfortable and warm under a pile of blankets in the morning. I don’t really like to upset the kitties and dog piled around me either. Kind of hard to leave. I’ve made sure to have warm socks and a sweater to replace the warmness. Kids though, they’ll run around naked and happy. I’d be totally fine if they just decided to come hang out with me under the blankets, reading Harry Potter or something. However they’re off like a shot as soon as their eyes open, squealing and creating. 

What I’ve been doing

  1. Learning about sleep and mornings. I’ve read a bit about theories on sleep and why some people and can do mornings and some people cannot. There’s this thing called a chronotype (developed by Till Roenneberg in Germany) that I came across in this MNN article. Basically what it is is the median-time that your biological rhythm sleeps. Like if you typically sleep best 10 PM-7 AM, your chronotype would be 2:30 AM. I need to read the book, but til then I enjoyed the points in this article. Roenneberg also talks about how rigid societal schedules such as work shifts and school schedules mess with our natural rhythms, thereby upsetting our bodies and brain and causing more harm than not. Very interesting, plan on finding his book at the library.
  2. Diligently eating, drinking, and supplementing properly. I wake up, chug a pint of water. I drink before bed as well. I don’t eat before bed. Except last night. >.< I take the supplements when I’m supposed to- Vitamin D, probiotic, calcium/magnesium, sleeping herbs.
  3. Limiting screens. Not just for me, but for M, E, and J as well. I encourage them to find other things to do than watch something with breakfast. We find other things to do before our evening routine starts other than watching a movie. We save TV and internet for afternoons. We have an earning system for video games that works awesome. I try to stay off the computer and phone as much as I can. I’ve noticed that the worse I feel the more likely I’ll get on.
  4. Evening routine for the kids and I is working. Starting with 15 minute pickup, then getting physically ready for bed, seems to work well for all of us. It’s something to keep doing if it works for ALL of us. They read, get tucked in, lights out. Making sure they use the bathroom right before lights out helps. I take the sleeping herbal supplement about 9 PM and I put myself to bed about 10, 1030. I’ll read for a bit then instead of playing a game on my phone or dining around on social media. Except last night. I was playing dangerously last night.
  5. The kids’ morning routines. Kind of. The two year old is still coming in at the buttcrack of dawn, jabbering away about Hades-knows-what. But then he’s sent back to his bedroom to play quietly and usually he does. I still need to get an alarm for their room, but they’ve been doing well playing quietly til everyone else is up. They’re also getting used to quietness the first 20 minutes while I drink coffee and they eat.Do I Look like I Rise and Shine?
  6. Breakfast is mostly planned. ‘What do you guys want for breakfast?’ ‘PANCAKES! FRENCH TOAST! BACON!’ ‘Oatmeal it is then.’ Most evenings. Looking for crockpot recipes and whatnot for easy readied breakfasts in the morning. Though I don’t want to eat for a couple hours after waking, the kids are starving and chewing on their arms as soon as they wake. If I can find a few tried and true allergen free recipes I’m sure breakfasts will be a lot easier.

What i need to change

  1. #5 on the above list. Freezable, wheat-free, ready-to-go breakfast ideas please! I started a Pinterest board for this as well. 
  2. Reviewing tomorrow’s plan tonight. By the time kids go to bed I’m ready to crash with a cup of tea and a book or a Netflix show. Maybe I’ll make this part of our routine for the whole family.
  3. Adding in a morning walk. We’re shooting for 3 times a week around the block, which amounts to ~1/2 mile. It’s pretty leisurely since we’re all going at a toddler’s pace.
  4. Still need Pajama Day on the calendar. It’s routinely every day for me I don’t have to leave the house. Saves on laundry. For the kids, it’s rhythmically been Friday or Saturday. Putting it on a specific day though, I should do still.
  5. Leave phone on charger and away from my hand til later in the day. I’m still checking email and other notifications while I wake up. Pretty much defeats the purpose of trying to think slowly right.

Overall, routines are becoming more accepted and less likely to be resisted by anyone. I do have to be diligent though, or I have a hard time, like today.

Hoping this update helps you. Mornings are flipping tough.

What are your evening and morning routines like?

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