I’m a busy mom.  A busy, sleep deprived mom.  Somewhere along the road six years ago I seem to have pulled off on the way side of sleep and never returned to the road.

About three months ago I realized that living in this sleep deprived state was not good for me, or my family.

Making a few basic changes I was able to start sleeping and amazingly enough find my REM cycle again. It wasn’t that complicated. I simply followed two key steps to restore my quality of sleep.

Sleeping Children

Schedule Changes

The first thing I had to look at was our schedule. Sir Swine and I were in a busy time with our show pigs and to be honest we were burning the candle from both ends.

Spring was coming. Along with pigs we had garden planning, conferences and we also made a big switch to year round homeschooling.  I was losing sleep too often.

After realizing sleep was my big problem causing my added frustrations and higher anxiety we took a hard look at what we had been doing.

Re-evaluation had to be done. We needed to make the shift for a more rest filled evening.

Finding a Solution to Sleep Loss

Originally our solution had been to have me sleep in later in the morning. I am home with our kids daily so it made sense.

This was NOT a good choice for us.  I think we only tried it a week and I was worse than before. Sleeping in proved to mess up our entire daily routine.  This only added to the chaos that was happening.  It may work for some but not for me.

We tried changing up our schedule again but this time on the nightly side. We got the kids to bed earlier and ultimately mom to bed earlier.  This helped but it still wasn’t getting me into a restful sleep, one where I had a REM cycle.

My New Bedtime Routine

The simple changes I decided to make every night before bed were hindering me.  A new routine needed to be made.

I started by setting the standard of no internet of any kind after 9pm.  I actually shoot for 8pm but it doesn’t always happen. This helps my brain to realize I’m going into rest mode.

After 9pm I do not take calls.  My parents used to do this and I think it’s brilliant. Respectful people should and would not call or text after 9pm unless it was an emergency so this made perfect sense for us.

Soft lighting was our next big goal.  I cannot stand those high efficiency lights. One day I told Sir Swine they are too bright for me.  Turns out there is logic and science behind it and for some that is true (like me).  See these great article sources  and another to learn more.

In my room, and the areas I prepare for bed in, we have opted for softer lighting. My brain responds to this and knows that I’m slowing down for the night.

We dropped the temperature of the house a bit before bedtime as well. The cooler room makes us all sleep better.  My children are hot sleepers.  I myself like to have a blanket but if I am unable to use one, due to a warm room, I do not sleep as comfortably.  It’s not just me though, more info on why people like to sleep with blanket check this out here.

The BEST thing we found was something my husband had started taking to help his joints.  He’s from a family that has bad knees.  Enter collagen, to help protect his joints.

Yes collagen.  I thought he was crazy but I mixed a big spoonful of this stuff (here is my amazon affiliate link for easy use in finding it) in a half a glass of orange juice an hour or so before bed.

The first night I had a dream.  Not that excited by that? The last time I could remember having a dream was non-existent to me.  This was big!

We have continued to take this and are thrilled by the results we have had.

We fall asleep easily and when woken up by children in the night the transition back to a restful state is easy and fast.  This had been a big deal for us and especially for me.

Beating the Winter Time Blues

Often times our moody and sleep routine can be impacted in a negative way by the winter months. We are more worn down, the days are darker and our Vitamin D is lacking due to the sun being farther away.

If you find that you are struggling during the winter months please look at these ways to renew yourself during the winter months.

Ultimately getting more sleep falls on each of our shoulders individually. Finding ways to encourage your body to rest and making simple changes to get that much needed rest is worth every effort you can make.

Rest easy.

Do you have any special things you do to help you fall asleep?