I’m finally going to reveal the One Amazing Magic missing piece to postpartum workouts that every mom on planet earth should be thrilled to hear.
Exaggeration? I think not. Keep reading…
Here it comes.
It’s not an exercise.
It’s not a diet.
wait for it…
Yep. That’s it.
Now you’re probably thinking, “what? SLEEP? Seriously? I don’t have time for that!”
Or, “how boring!”
Most likely, you’re thinking… “Are you KIDDING ME? I’d love to sleep but hello! I have a baby who controls my sleep, wakes up constantly, and makes my sleepless days miserable.”
Yes, I know, It happens to me too. I had twins. I didn’t sleep for 6 months. Now I have a 2 year. She wakes at up 2 am like a crazy person and wants to watch The Grinch. Sleep can be evasive when you have small kids. I totally get it.
But sleep is crucial for your healing, your fitness, your metabolism, your mental health, and your workout effectiveness! I could cite so many science and research articles that explain the benefits of workouts and sleep. Like this one. And this one.
But you know what’s cool? There is tons of research to show that exercise can actually make you sleep better! So, if you feel too tired to workout because you’re not sleeping, then that’s the best reason to actually fit your workout in because it will help you to sleep better! See how connected sleep and exercise are? They complement each other. You need both to make the other the most effective.
So, now the big question is – HOW can you get more and better sleep to make your workouts the most effective, and vice versa?
Here’s the cold hard truth about sleep with small kids: The only thing you can control when it comes to sleeping is what time you go to bed. Sad but true. You can’t control when your toddler wakes up in the middle of the night, or how many times your 4-month-old wakes up to eat, or what time all your kids get up for the day (why 6 am, why)? But you can control what time you choose to go to bed.
So, the only way to add sleep to your life is to go to bed earlier. I know that’s not fun to hear and so often we as moms need that extra hour (or 6) of alone time after everyone goes to bed to decompress, eat a pint of ice cream, and veg out watching Fuller House on Netflix. But consider how amazing that extra hour (or 6) of sleep will make you feel the next day when you have to get up with (in my case) the Grinch-watching 2-year-old at the crack of dawn.
So, this Christmas season, during a busy time of hustle and gift wrapping and parties and decorating and gift buying, take some time to just stop. Enjoy some rest. Send your kids to play with something and just sit down and rest. Then, when the kids go to bed, take 10-15 minutes for yourself, then get in bed. Even if it’s just 3 or 4 nights a week. Get in bed, enjoy the comfiness of your room, and go to sleep! You’ll feel so much better in the morning. I promise.
And, if you’re now seeing the need to workout consistently so you can sleep better (and vice versa), but wondering how the heck to find time to workout during the busy Christmas Season, check out this post for my best tips on finding time to workout, and this post on my 3 best time-saving hacks when it comes to fitting in your workouts.
I know I’m preaching to the choir about how good sleep is for you. But maybe you need to hear it one more time before you actually do it. So take this as your sign. Get in bed early in December. Prepare your life for a wonderful holiday by getting some much-needed rest and sleep. Your workouts will be better. Your mental health will be better, and your overall countenance will be better and maybe you’ll feel a little more patient during some of the craziness.
That being said, I’m taking my own advice and having a full 3 weeks vacation off from my fitness hustle to just rest. Still getting my own workouts in because I love it, but resting from the business and not scheduling any work for 3 straight weeks. I’m going to bed by 9 pm at least five nights every week. Because The Grinch and an excited 2 year old await me at zero-dark-thirty in the morning.
Have a very merry restful Christmas! Enjoy your workouts and your sleep! And I’ll see you again in 2020. Get ready. It’s going to be an epic year.