Hi, I’m Dr. Tiffany Shelton Mariolle, The Manifesting Psychologist and Founder of modAmbition!
How to Get Better Sleep: Sleep Tips For Busy Women
Jojo Jensen said, “Without sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.” And I can totally agree with that.
So many people equate ambition to sleepless nights and burnout, but not getting sufficient sleep actually works against you and not for you.
I cringe when I hear entrepreneurs brag about how little sleep they get. If they only knew the price they are paying for their sleep deprivation. After all, what is career success worth, if you don’t have your health and wellness.
Here are some effects of insufficient sleep:
- Word finding difficulty - the tip of the tongue phenomenon
- Problems with attention, concentration, and memory
- Increases the risk of Alzheimer's and other dementia disorders
- Increase your cardiovascular risks for things like heart disease, heart attack, and stroke
- Contributes to depression
- Shortens your life expectancy
And you may be in the situation where you know that poor sleep is hurting you but struggle to get quality sleep.
And if this is you, trust me you aren’t alone!
Adults between 18 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Adults over 65 need 7-8 hours.
However, a recent study found that 32.6% of working adults reported sleeping six or fewer hours per night.
And women have a lifetime risk of insomnia that is as much as 40% higher than that of men.
So it is my goal in this podcast to offer you tangible tips to help you, if you are one of the many folks struggling with poor sleep.
And before sharing these tips, I would like to validate and honor those in seasons that optimal sleep is just not an option right now. Whether you are a:
- new mom
- or pulling all-nighters for a non-negotiable project
- or you might even be caring for a loved one that requires you to stay up all night.
Whatever the reason, I want to acknowledge that there are times in life when these tips are just not possible. And in those seasons I would encourage you to offer yourself grace, compassion, and as many naps as you can get in.
I often share stories from my postpartum journey because it was one of the few life situations that forcefully made me slow down. And lack of sleep after having both my kids was certainly a large factor in my desire to take things slower. So I certainly get it.
Also, in full transparency: I don’t always adhere to all these tips!
Ok, with that said, let’s jump into these sleep tips.
ONE: How to Fall Asleep Easily
- Troubleshoot your sleep problems
- Link to sleep diary in the show notes below to help you track and identify problems
- Are you suffering from an untreated mood disorder?
- Sleep Hygiene
- Bedtime routine
- Ditch the screens an hour before bed
- Avoid napping longer than 20 minutes
- Reserve your bed for sleeping and sex
- Write down all your lingering to dos before heading into your bedroom
- Regular exercise and movement
- Get out of the bed after 20 minutes if you are not sleepy
- Supplements (according to healthline.com)
- Supplements that can help you fall asleep include:
- Magnesium. Magnesium helps activate the neurotransmitters responsible for sleep. Doses of up to 500 milligrams (mg) per day have been shown to improve sleep. It should be taken with food.
- 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). The amino acid 5-HTP boosts the production of serotonin, which has been linked to the regulation of sleep. Doses up to 600 mg per day, taken either once daily or in divided doses, seem to be effective in treating insomnia (76, 77).
- Melatonin. The body naturally produces the hormone melatonin, but it can also be taken as a supplement to help regulate your sleep. Doses of 0.5–5 mg taken 2 hours before your desired bedtime, which is usually around 8 to 9 p.m. for most individuals, might improve sleep quality (78
- L–theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid with sedative properties. Although it hasn’t been shown to induce sleep, it could help with relaxation. Doses of 400 mg per day seem to be useful
- GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is a compound produced in the brain. It inhibits certain transmitters and may help the central nervous system relax. Doses of 250–500 mg and no more than 1,000 mg are recommended (83).
- Limit Caffeine in the afternoon
- And here are simple tips to help you fall asleep quickly
- Lower the temperature
- Complete darkness
- Blackout curtains
- Eye Mask
- Relaxation Techniques
- Deep Breathing
- Body Scan
- Guided Sleep Visualizations
- Hot bath
- Light reading out of the bed
- Relaxing Music
- Invest in a comfy supportive pillow
- Comfortable clothes and hair
- Weighted Blankets
TWO: How to Stop Waking Up in the Middle of the Night
This can be a sign of an untreated mood disorder.
- In a sleep diary (see link below or journal, keep record the next day of what thoughts are waking you up and keeping you up
- Limit your liquids before bedtime
- Quit smoking
- Make sure your bedtime temperature is not rising
- Get a sound machine to drone out noises and lull you back to sleep. Make sure it is one that stays on all night and not on a timer. Got this from taking care of babies
- Eliminate all little lights.
- Limit your alcohol consumption before bed.
- According to greatist.com, It can mess up your circadian rhythm, shorten your sleep cycles, and cause breathing issues like snoring or poor oxygen intake.
- By drinking alcohol before bed, you’re trading a good night’s rest for reduced sleep quality overall.
THREE: How to Get Back To Sleep After Waking Up In the Night
- Do not get on your phone or any screen for that matter. That is only going to make things harder for you.
- Do a sleep reset out of the bed if you have been tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes! You don’t want your brain to associate your bed with tossing and turning.
- This really helped me with pregnancy insomnia
- Use leaves on a stream for worrying thoughts
- Repeat a sleep mantra to keep your brain from overthinking. Mine is simply the word sleep.
- Relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation
- Stay as still as possible
- Avoid clocks