Last updated on May 26th, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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Tired Moms—5 Tips to Get Your Beauty Sleep Tonight!

Hey tired moms! It’s okay to talk about something other than our babies. While it’s no surprise that a lack of sleep can have serious consequences for your health, the researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland along with Estee Lauder, have conducted a clinical trial that offers further insight into the effects of sleep on skin.

Read on about sleep and:

  • Recovery from sun exposure
  • BMI
  • Exercise
  • Melatonin

tired moms

Tired Moms, Look No Further!

If you needed a nudge toward everyone in your family getting quality sleep, the results of this new study may be it. Researchers found that poor sleepers showed increased signs of skin aging, as well as slower recovery from a variety of environmental stressors, such as sun exposure. Not surprisingly, poor sleepers also had poor self esteem when it came to their skin.

According to Dr. Elma Baron, Director of the Skin Study Center at Case Medical Center and Associate Professor of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, “insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic.”

Dr. Daniel Yarosh, Senior Vice President, Basic Science Research, R&D, at The Estée Lauder Companies stated that “these connections between sleep and skin aging, now supported with solid scientific data, will have a profound effect on how we study skin and its functions.”

Interestingly, while mostly focused on skin quality and repair, the research also uncovered some additional facts about poor sleep quality:

  • Recovery from sunburn was more sluggish
  • A higher Body Mass Index (BMI) was found in those with poor sleep quality

But what does this mean for you? It means good sleep is important for the whole family. Tired moms, exhausted dads, and kids as well.

Think maybe it’s postpartum depression or anxiety?
Read: Postpartum Depression or Anxiety or Baby Blues? Learn the Differences

Keep a Consistent Sleep Routine

Just like our children, our bodies also benefit from a consistent sleep cycle. If you can, try to make sure that you go to bed at the same time each night, and set your alarm for a consistent wake up each morning (or just listen for your baby…sometimes they make the best alarms). You’ll find that your body may be more responsive to sleep if it’s used to a consistent routine. Be prepared for this to take a few weeks, however, as you’re essentially relearning good sleep habits.

Wondering about schedules for all ages?
Read: Sample Schedules: Sleep and Naps From 6 Months to Preschool

Understand Your Sleep Needs

Did you know that the National Sleep Foundation advises that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night? During sleep, we all cycle through REM and non-REM sleep. These different sleep stages are important and aid in our body’s ability to heal, as well as help to increase cognitive function and reaction times. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation found that those who slept less than seven hours per night were significantly more impaired when it comes to alertness and reaction time. Not good if you’re driving or chasing a toddler around!

Make sure that you get yourself to bed early enough that you can clock the recommended hours each night. Remember, your babies wake early!

Although not ideal, if you find that you aren’t able to get the recommended hours all at once, it’s okay to ‘make up’ time through naps. If you’re a new mom, remember, it’s important to sleep while your babies sleep. Since you’ll be up at night) If you do need a nap, try to aim for an early afternoon nap of at least 30 minutes. Please remember that just like our babies, we really need a long stretch of uninterrupted sleep at night to reap the benefits.

What if you can’t sleep?
Read: Parent Sleep — My Baby Sleeps, Why Can’t I? Sleep Tips for Parents

Even Tired Moms Benefit from Exercise!

Daily exercise helps your body to regulate its sleep cycle, and helps you feel more invigorated and have more energy. Exercise also helps you sleep better at night.

Get Outside

Sunlight helps our bodies regulate melatonin production, and will help our bodies wake up each morning. Try to go for a morning walk in lieu of your coffee, open the blinds, and enjoy the day.

Have no idea where to begin solving your child’s sleep issues?

Start with this guide.

Get this guide

Encourage Melatonin Production

At night, make sure that you close the blinds, avoid bright light, and limit or eliminate screens as they are quite stimulating. In your bedroom, make sure that you have a nightlight or flashlight to help you see if you need to wake during the night. Your bedroom should be cool and dark.

Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!