Struggle with Sleep
Parenting & Family

Tired of Being Tired? 10 Ways to Reclaim Your Energy When You Struggle with Sleep

Mom March is here!  And I’m starting the month off strong by focusing on sleep deprivation and fatigue.  (Ask me why I’m starting here lol.).  We’ve all been there – those nights when sleep seems elusive, whether due to stress, a busy schedule, a wide-awake child, or simply a restless mind. But fear not, there are ways to help when you struggle with sleep. In this post, we’ll explore 10 things you can do when you find yourself running on empty, helping you prioritize rest and rejuvenation.

If you missed my introduction to Mom March, including my first all-important recommendation for taking some of the weight off of your shoulders, read about it here:

Struggling Through Motherhood: How to let go of expectations right now

I also feel it’s important to note that these tips are not just for moms!!! Anyone can suffer from fatigue and struggle with sleep. Read on for the good stuff!

Prioritize Power Naps

Power naps are the best.  When struggle with sleep, a power nap can work wonders for boosting alertness and productivity. Aim for a short nap of 20-30 minutes to avoid falling into a deep sleep and waking up groggy.

My mom used to always sit in her comfy chair in the corner of the living room and say, “I just need to rest my eyes for a few minutes.”  Boom! Power Nap.  And she’s Wonder Woman so you should try it, too.  

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

If you’re up at night because of stress and a busy mind, this may help you turn it off or at least turn the volume down on your thoughts. 

Calm your racing thoughts and promote relaxation by practicing mindfulness meditation. Spend a few minutes focusing on your breath or engaging in a guided meditation session to ease into a more restful state.

Here are the Best Meditation Apps according to Wirecutter

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

This is something I have never been able to accomplish.  I get home late at night after work and spend the next 20 minutes frantically starting the dishwasher, taking the dogs out, getting backpacks ready for tomorrow, and washing up.  There is no calmness until I crash into bed with my kindle.  

HOWEVER, establishing a soothing bedtime routine signals to your body that it’s time to wind down (apparently, rage cleaning does not have the same effect).  Activities such as reading, gentle stretching, or listening to calming music can help prepare your mind and body for sleep.

Please share any more relaxing bedtime routine tips with me!

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

How many of us lay awake in bed staring at our phones or watching tv?  It’s an awful habit and we all know it. 

Exposure to screens can interfere with our body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Limit screen time at least an hour before bedtime to minimize the disruptive effects of blue light on your sleep quality.

Optimize Your Sleep Environment

Create a conducive sleep environment by ensuring your bedroom is dark, quiet, and comfortably cool. Invest in a supportive mattress and pillows, and consider using white noise machines or earplugs to block out distractions.

Basically, this is your excuse to shop for yourself.  Tell yourself it will help you sleep more and then put in the effort!  Maybe you need a white noise machine, eye mask, weighted blanket, or black-out curtains.  Maybe you need new, comfy pj’s.  Do it in the name of sleep. 

Stay Hydrated

I am the worst at this.  I drink water throughout the day, but my caffeine to water ratio is way higher than it should be.  I know in my brain that my body needs more water and caffeine is not going to help me in the long run, but I’m still here doing the same old thing. 

Guess what guys, dehydration can exacerbate feelings of fatigue and lethargy! Stay hydrated to combat the exhaustion.  On top of that, limit caffeine or sugary beverages too close to bedtime unless you want it to affect your sleep.  

Read more about caffeine and sleep here

Incorporate Exercise the Right Way

If you struggle with sleep and have trouble falling asleep at night, you may think an intense workout in the evening will help exhaust you so you can sleep.  Sorry, wrong. Going hard on your workout too close to bedtime can actually have a stimulating effect and make it harder to sleep. Keep the intense workouts earlier in your day.

If you’re looking for a boost of energy in your day, engage in light, gentle exercise such as walking or yoga to help alleviate feelings of sluggishness and boost circulation. 

Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is shown to decrease anxiety and stress, improve the ability to fall and stay asleep, lower blood pressure, and reduce pain in the neck, back, and even TMJ/migraine pain!  I’ve never tried this before, but it’s worth a shot for all these benefits!

How to do it:  Starting from your toes and working your way up to your head, systematically tense and then relax each muscle group for a deeply calming effect.

Fuel Your Body with Nutrient-Rich Foods

You know how your breakfast usually consists of coffee and a handful of cheez-its while you’re making your kids’ lunch?  And lunch is either non-existent or leftover pb&j crusts your toddler wouldn’t eat?  Dinner is mostly good but then post-kids bedtime routine you lose yourself in a bag of chips or a pint of ice cream? A day in the life…

Instead, try to support your body’s energy levels and overall well-being by nourishing yourself with nutrient-rich foods. Opt for balanced meals and snacks that include a combination of complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

Look, I know this isn’t possible all of the time.  And I know that we know we will all feel better if we had the time and energy to eat balanced, nutritious meals all day.  But that also takes work.  So start with the 80/20 rule if it sounds doable.  80% healthy foods, 20% not-so-healthy.  Not ready for that yet?  Start with 50/50. 

Struggle with Sleep

Seek Professional Help if Needed

If your chronic struggle with sleep is getting out of control, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Consult with a healthcare provider or sleep specialist to address any underlying sleep disorders or issues contributing to your lack of sleep, kids notwithstanding.

10 Things to do when you struggle with sleep

I know it’s not practical for all of us to magically sleep more.  That’s why it’s important to know ways to reduce fatigue and promote energy levels throughout the day after those sleepless nights (or weeks, months, or years).  

Prioritizing sleep and rest is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being, but it’s easier said than done. I hope you found something in this list that can help you navigate periods of sleep deprivation and reclaim your energy levels.  Remember, small changes can lead to significant improvements in your sleep quality and overall quality of life.

Mom March Intro: Struggling Through Motherhood: How to let go of expectations right now
Mom March Week 1: Tired of Being Tired? 10 Ways to reclaim energy when you struggle with sleep
Mom March Week 2: 3 Simple Ways to Navigate the Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood
Need more mom advice? My ebook for Stay-at-Home Working Moms may be for you! Read more here!

Don’t miss next week’s Mom March post.  Subscribe to my weekly email!

Which sleep tip are you going to try this week?  

If you’re looking for more tips for moms, you should check out my ebook, “The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Survival Guide”. Read more about it here!

Thanks for reading, 

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