Clearly, who invented the phrase "Sleep like a baby" wasn't a parent.
Sleeping is as much important as eating, however we don't give it the respect it deserves. More and more people suffer from insomnia every year. Stress, unfortunately, plays a big factor in sleep and in the modern society we live in, is our daily bread.
Here, I'd like to share how I wind down at night and how I sleep like a baby (when Grace lets me).
1. Eat your carbs
Complex carbohydrates increase seratonin - the feel good hormone - through a series of chemical transformations. When serotonin is high, sleep is more restful, because it blisses us with a sense of calm. So, opt for starchy veggies, whole grains, beans and fruits.
2. Don't rush to your bedroom after dinner
This makes a big difference for me. Often I have dinner and then crush in bed straight after. That is recipe for a very upset stomach and weird dreams. Try to eat earlier and wait a couple of hours before laying down. If you work until late, consider to eat a small meal in the office around 6pm. That way you can have something light once you're back home, like a comforting bowl of soup.
3. Set a bedtime routine
I have been watching Grace in the past months and see how her sleep has slowly improved by just repeating the same things before bedtime. If a little human responds well to a routine, I wouldn't see why not for a big one. Some people like reading in bed, others take a hot bath, whatever you like doing, keep doing it every day. Personally, a hot bath with lavender oil or a cup of Epsom salt does it for me. I'd soak in it for 15 minutes and then apply my favorite moisturizer (The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter). These days I have less time to soak in a hot bath, but usually looking at beautiful pictures of a recipe book in my bed helps me relax - I know this sounds odd to you, but it works so well for me.
4. Drink a cup of herbal tea
A good old cup of herbal tea is very soothing for my soul. At the moment my favorites are the traditional camomile and teas with fennel seeds, that also help as lactation supplement. Pick your favorite mug and turn the kettle on.
5. Leave your phone away from your bedroom
Electromagnetic fields generated by our devices can disturb our sleep during the night. Many studies suggest that a constant exposure to these fields can have an impact on the secretion of melatonin and cortisol, two major markers of sleep. If you use your phone as alarm clock or as a watch to count your baby's night awakenings as I do, minimize the exposure by putting your phone on "flight mode".
Happy & healthy sleeping!