Kids have an abundance of energy so when mom gets tuckered, she still has to keep her preschool and toddler charges entertained. Here are five lazy games that are perfect for playing when the children need to be occupied and a tired mama wants to sneak in a bit of rest and relaxation.
Did you rise and shine bright and early this morning to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton say their vows? Or maybe you turned it into a giant pajama party and decided to stay up all night? Today, millions of people across the world are recalling their favorite moments from the royal wedding . . . they are also rubbing their eyes and drinking copious amounts of coffee, trying to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at their day jobs. If only we were so lucky like the Brits to have this monumental day be declared a national holiday — aw well, at least we can sleep it off this weekend! Here are some tips for surviving today and feeling almost back to new by tomorrow.
We only spend a third of our life actually sleeping, but the art of catching z's can rule the majority of our lives. Between figuring out our circadian clock, juggling work and home, and battling insomnia-inducing factors, we can't get enough of perfecting our sleep routine.
And we have good reason. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a multitude of not-so-great things. Why is sleep so important? Here are 10 consequences of not getting enough sleep.
- You'll eat more. 300 calories more, to be precise. A recent study found that sleep-deprived subjects, when allowed to eat whatever they wanted, ate more than when they had a full-night's sleep, even though they stuck to their normal eating schedule.
- You may not live as long. Researchers may have found the secret to long life — a study found that women who slept fewer than five hours a night were less likely to live as long as those who got more.
- You'll weigh more. Logically, if you are regularly consuming more calories every day it stands to reason you may weigh more, but the weight gain is not only caused by what you consume. Not enough sleep also causes stress on the body, which triggers it to slow metabolism and store fat.
Getting enough shut-eye each night is vital for our overall mental and physical health. We've already learned that not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain because when you don't sleep, the body experiences physiological stress that causes our bodies to store fat and slow down our metabolism.
Not only that, but a recent study suggests that when you sleep less, you typically consume about 300 calories more per day.
Another recent study related to this topic looked at 472 obese adults who were counseled about lifestyle changes over a 26-week period and asked about sleep time, depression, insomnia, screen time, and stress. The results from the study showed that high stress and too little sleep (or too much of it) can hinder weight loss even when people are on a diet. According to the study author, Dr. Charles Elder from the Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente, in Portland, OR, it was the people who got between six to eight hours of sleep and reported low stress who achieved the most success in the weight-loss programs.
Sleep is for the weak...or childless. Lots of mothers say goodbye to their hours of uninterrupted shut-eye once baby debuts. And, even once a tot is sleeping through the night and has a sibling or two, it doesn't mean parents necessarily have time to hit the hay. There are only so many hours in the day and for moms juggling a career, family, and their children's commitments, burning the midnight oil can become routine. Do you long for sleep or do you just consider the lack of it part of parenthood?
Kids have an abundance of energy so even when mom gets tuckered, she still has to keep her preschool and toddler charges entertained. Here are five lazy games that allow a mama to sneak in a bit of rest and relaxation.
Flash Card Shuffle: Scatter a box of flash cards across the floor and then lounge while asking your tots to find the "letter A" or "zebra" and walk it your way. This gets lil rascals engaged and learning while a wiped out mum has a break.
Pillow Drums: Have a bed or couch full of pillows? Turned on your child's favorite CD and let him play the pillow drums — different sizes and textures create varying sounds when he pats them with his hands.
Movie Time: Rather than just setting your child in front of the boob tube, create a movie theater experience. Have your tots draw up some tickets and hand them in as they take their seats on the couch or pillows and blankets you've laid out on the floor. Then, set out a bowl of popcorn and a tray of theater snacks, dim the lights, press play and settle into a half slumber while your kids enjoy the show.
Pitch a Tent: Wee ones are always up to camp. Pitch a tent in your living room or make a homemade fort with blankets. Pull the drapes and switch off the lights to take day into night. Then, stock the room with your children's wild stuffed animals and hand each kiddo a flashlight for exploring the great indoors.
Freeze Dance: Turn the radio up and let the sweet sounds sweep your youngsters off their feet. Kick your heels up on the couch and take charge of the remote by hitting mute every few minutes to create a fun game of freeze dance. If your children like coming up with their own signature moves, have them strut their stuff in a dance off.
Once you're a parent, you never get the same quality of sleep again. Well, maybe when the kids move out. Whether you are up feeding an infant or keeping your ears open for signs of a restless tot, you've kissed your hours of deep shut-eye goodbye. But, there are a few ways mamas with brand-new babes can help themselves adjust and deal with sleep deprivation.
Plan Ahead: While pregnant, take care of all your household tasks from cleaning the linen closet to organizing the nursery and freezing some homemade meals so you can focus on the baby once you bring him home.
Send Baby to the Nursery: Rest up before you are released. If you are comfortable sending your bundle of joy to the hospital's nursery, the nurses will tend to him and you can get some Zs before you head home without help.
Nap When Your Newborn Does: Even if you aren't tired, rest when your baby does. Learning to nap at the same time as your newborn can be beneficial for weary mothers.
Pump and Hand Over the Bottle: If your babe takes a bottle, pump and hand it to your husband. Allowing him to take on one or a few of the feedings will give you longer stretches of sleep.
It's late. You have an early morning meeting and all you want to do is drift off to sweet slumberland. Too bad you're doing more tossing and turning than snoozing and snoring. Here are some tips you can try to help you fall asleep faster.
- Make your bedroom like a cave. Cover the windows and turn off all the lights (even night-lights). The darkness signals your body to wind down and sleep. If you can't shut out the light completely, wear an eye mask.
- Don't count sheep! Instead, visualize a relaxing scene like a sun-dappled beach or a serene meadow covered with wildflowers.
- Turn on the yawns with yoga. Whether you do some relaxing stretches on the floor or in your bed, it only takes a few minutes of Child's Pose or Legs Up the Wall to induce drowsiness.
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I know I'm supposed to spend about eight hours a night snoozing away in my cozy bed, but with work, my family, and all my other commitments, sometimes sleep gets put on the back burner. I always thought that if I felt OK, then it wasn't doing any harm to my health, but recent research will have you reaching for your pajamas and pillow.
Most Americans are sleeping an average of 6.9 hours a night, and although they may just feel a little sleepy during the day, the deprivation is tremendously affecting their brain functions and reaction times. When volunteers in a University of Pennsylvania sleep study were restricted to less than six hours of sleep for two weeks, by the end, they were just as impaired as those who had been awake for 48 hours straight.
Aside from feeling foggy-headed, research also shows that lack of sleep changes how our bodies secrete hormones. It causes an increase in appetite and reduced sensation of feeling full after eating, and it affects the body's response to sugar. If you're constantly deprived of shut-eye, you're more at risk for obesity and developing diabetes. As if that wasn't enough, sleep deprivation is also linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Don't lose sleep over not getting enough zzz's. The effects of sleep deprivation can be reversed once you start sleeping the recommended seven to nine hours a night. In a University of Chicago sleep and appetite study, the level of hunger hormones in subjects returned to normal when they were allowed to sleep 10 hours for two consecutive nights.
No one misses sleep like a mother! If resting is for the weak, then women were made strong. It's impossible to hold your eyes open when they are forcing shut, but here are some tricks to surviving (and even thriving) while you are tuckered and raising children. Let us know how you have dealt with exhaustion.
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