In midst of constantly trying to be super mom, many moms are foregoing the most essential ingredient in achieving such a role, SLEEP! I find many of my mommy friends are functioning on very little sleep all too often. Caffeine and mommy-will can only sustain a person for so long. Running on such little sleep can have detrimental effects on your health. Below are some fun facts on the importance of sleep, why many women actually need more sleep than their male counter part and some tips on how to gain a few extra hours of sleep in each week.

“Sleep is critical to health, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise,” Dr. Nathaniel F. Watson, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, said in a statement. “Our consensus panel found that sleeping six or fewer hours per night is inadequate to sustain health and safety in adults, and agreed that seven or more hours of sleep per night is recommended for all healthy adults.”

If you are expecting your body requires even more sleep. It takes a lot of energy to grow a baby and to carry that baby in your belly. For example, your heart is working four or five times harder during pregnancy just to keep enough blood flowing through your body and your baby’s body. Think of it as needing to sleep for two.

According to Dr. Jim Horne , Britain’s leading expert in sleep science. In an article published in the Daily Mail , Horne explained that on average women need twenty more minutes of sleep than men. The researcher pointed out that women tend to multi-task and use more of their actual brain than men leading to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep. Keep that fact in your back pocket ladies.

Missing sleep worsens your mood, weakens your memory, and harms your decision-making all day long. It scatters your focus, prevents you from thinking flexibly, and makes you more susceptible to anxiety. Remember happy moms make for happy kids.

Below are my top 3 tips on how to treat yourself to more high quality sleep:

  1. Darkness Matters – Light exposure at night stimulates alertness—and that can pose a serious problem for healthy, abundant, refreshing sleep. Insufficient darkness throughout the night can lead to frequent and prolonged awakenings. I recommend a night mask. I started wearing one consistently about a year ago and it has drastically improved the quality of sleep. I wake up feeling much more refreshed.
  2. Give yourself a bedtime – Don’t get mindlessly sucked into tv watching or internet browsing. It can happen so easy and will leave you regretting your decision the next morning. After the kids are asleep, the house is reset, and I spend some adult time with my husband I head to bed. My goal bedtime is 9:30-10pm. Now that I am pregnant I sometimes find myself in bed by 9pm. Momma needs her sleep!
  3. Exercise – Exercising is one of the best things you can do to maintain a healthy sleep routine. It gives you a daily opportunity to sweat out the stress and anxiety that leaves your mind racing at night, and over time, it can even improve the quality of your sleep.

Bonus tip! Enjoy 15% off all sleep and loungewear at Belabumbum 
This January, belabumbum is encouraging moms to get their beauty rest with their annual #SleepistheNewBlack campaign. Join in this effort to remind women to snuggle up and get their zzzz’s. Let’s choose to sleep more and sleep better.