Better Sleep, Better Life: A Story of Small Steps


Getting interrupted sleep sucks.

People underestimate the impact of lack of sleep. It can stall fat loss (or cause weight gain), lower your libido, make you depressed, and cause some other very serious health problems.

There’s only so much you can do when you have a baby. But I finally decided I needed a better system.

My Routine

I used to live for that silence after the kids were in bed. I’d binge on Netflix until I was so exhausted, when I finally closed my eyes, I’d instantly fall asleep.

If it was dark when we woke up, I’d pray it was just a cloudy morning where the kid’s had slept in.

That system didn’t work.

I’m not sure whether sheer exhaustion or a new update on my phone with a bedtime timer sparked my new commitment to going to bed earlier. Maybe both. But I made a change.

Now a little alarm goes off on my phone and I know it’s time to get ready for bed. (Which means start the dishwasher, make sure there aren’t wet clothes in the washing machine, let the dog out one more time, pick up tiny objects so the baby doesn’t find them in the morning, and of course brush my teeth and wash my face.)

After 30 minutes of getting ready for bed, I’m finally in bed.

The next thing I do is fight the urge to scroll Facebook or Instagram for the next hour.

After a few weeks of this I felt like I could switch to decaf coffee. (That didn’t go well, but that’s another story.)

The Moral

All I did was change one thing: my bedtime. But that change took a couple steps:

  1. Committing to being in bed by a certain time (which meant setting an alarm on my phone and committing to the routine).

  2. Committing to turning off my phone at a certain time and closing my eyes (and letting sleep hit me like a freight train).

This is a perfect example of why change has to happen in small steps. If I had just aimed for more sleep, there would have been no procedure in place to make it work.

At the same time, these small steps very quickly add up to big changes. If the science is accurate, which I believe it is, this will lead to better health, faster loss of baby fat, and a happier mama.

I’m still tired. We’re not sleeping through the night yet. But this is a step in the right direction.

Do you struggle with getting enough sleep? What steps can you take?

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