5 Steps to Better Rest, Even When You’re Stressed

Lately it sort of feels like I could break the record for amount of times spent uttering the words “I’m SO busy”. But I have no plans of stopping – I love my job, my active family and my many commitments (including this site!) too much to stop. But there’s one thing I really need to make more time for, and that’s restful sleep. This is such an important way to take time for yourself and show your health some love, even when life gets insane. Thankfully I’ve been able to find a few ways to make the most of the sleep I do have, even when it’s not the ideal amount…

5 Steps to Better Rest | TameraMowry.com

1. Cut yourself off. From the stress talk, that is. You know how you’re supposed to unplug an hour before bed for better sleep? Well, when trying to unplug, lots of us end up simply talking about our stressors instead. Talking things through with your spouse IS important, but when it comes time to lay your head down, continuing to chat about stressors often just winds us up even more. If you like to talk before catching Zzz’s, let your partner know that you want to avoid stress-inducing subjects, and they can catch you when you slip up.

2. Try a sleep mask. I know, the hubs miiiight not be completely on board with you sliding on a mask and checking out for the night (lol), but when you truly need a good night’s sleep, being in complete darkness works wonders. Numerous studies have shown just how bad light is for your quality of sleep – as it halts melatonin release – so having something to fall back on when lights from the outside world start to penetrate your bedroom is key. Sleep masks are also helpful if you get stress headaches… The light sensitivity is real.

3. Focus on your breath. A lot of people who lead busy, chaotic lives have trouble falling asleep because it’s so easy for the mind to wander. The next day’s task are already piling up while you’re counting down the hours of sleep you’ve already missed in the background. Sound familiar? You may need something else to focus on in order to keep your mind in check, and the breath is the simplest thing to shift to. It’s not something you may normally notice, but when it takes all your attention, your mind has a much harder time wandering. This can be very meditative and help you fall asleep faster than you think. Any time your mind wanders, simply gently force yourself to regain focus.

4. Squeeze a workout in. On the craziest of days, who has time for dedicating a whole hour to a workout? However, no matter how crazy a day is, if it doesn’t involve physical activity, you can still be awake and scatterbrained come bedtime. Your body needs that physical release, and it’ll help both with falling asleep faster and getting better rest. Keep in mind that for some people, exercising too close to bedtime can increase sleep troubles, so find a time that works best for you and monitor its effects on your sleep.

5. Get up if you have to. If you wake up multiple times in the night or simply can’t fall asleep in the first place, give yourself a break and stop trying to force it. Sure you should try out the options above, but sometimes you can’t control it. That doesn’t mean you’ll never get to sleep, but a cup of tea or a few pages of a book may be just what you need to reset your restless mind and encourage a trip to la la land.

What has been your biggest sleep issue? Maybe I can help.


Mommy Hacks: 5 Ideas for Helping Baby Sleep

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard more than enough times all of the “foolproof” ways to get your baby to fall (and stay) asleep. Some of them may have worked like magic, while your baby resists others. (Which is when we bring in Talitha, who has helped us define our parenting style, after all ;)) For example, Ariah loves being bundled in her swaddle blanket; it helps her feel cozy and secure. Other cues, like dimmed lights and reciting stories, signal that winding down time. But then there are moments where it seems like nothing on earth will help your little one sleep! It’s time to pull out a few new tricks.

baby sleep tips / photo of Ariah via Tamera Mowry

Try a lullaby app. Rockabyboo is a new lullaby app that utilizes UK artist Beulah’s soothing voice to help baby drift off to dreamland. There’s an enormous selection of music and stories updated constantly and they can even be personalized for some babies’ names. Find more info in this video clip.

Share your fave music with them. Yep, Rockabye Baby! features an entirely different set of lullabies. A company that sells soothing, lullaby versions of popular songs from countless artists and eras, you can put baby to sleep to The Elton John, Taylor Swift, or even Jay-Z. Don’t worry, all songs are baby-friendly, soothing, being the keyword here. The idea behind it is music that’s sweet and soft for babies, but just as entertaining for mom and dad. You might even enjoy having these tunes stuck in your head all night!

Get a vibrating mattress pad. Maybe it’s not the sounds that soothe her, but the motion. This Vibrating Mattress Pad Baby Soother gives off a gentle motion without you having to constantly rock her or take yet another drive around the block. It slides in under the crib’s mattress and can easily be shut off via the accessible power button on the handle.

Try a mix of both sound + motion. Of course, if neither of these are working quite right, maybe it’s that the baby needs to feel the motion as well as hear a soothing sound to feel secure enough to drift to sleep. There are products such as the Summer Soothe & Vibe that does the work of both the motion and the sound machine. And if it can safely soothe your little one to sleep in 20 minutes or less, it could be worth a try!

Get them a read-along buddy. You may remember that I mentioned the book + reading buddy Christopher Can’t Sleep as one of Aden’s fave bedtime stories. This is something to try with children of his age that know how to entertain themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong, Aden loves following along with the story… But it also happens to lull him right to sleep! One moment he’s engulfed in the pages of the book, and the next he’s snuggling up with his buddy.

If you’ve got ideas to add to this list, let me know – I’ll edit the post to feature your tips!