You think that sleep is mostly about what you do right before you go to bed.  This is not the case at all especially for women.  There are many things that keep us from sleeping including what we eat, stress and how much we move.  If we make some plans we can improve our sleep by reducing out stress, improving our diets, maybe have a little time to work out and possibly save a bit of money. 

Plan your food.  Not just for the day but for the week.  Taking the time to do this little bit of planning and preparing takes a great deal of stress off you for the rest of the week.  The food does not have to be very fancy.  It can be as simple as yogurt and cereal during the week for breakfast a sandwich and salad for lunch and meatloaf for dinner.  The other benefit is the reduced fat and sodium will allow the food to digest better so you can sleep better.  If you have GERD or acid reflux you can plan your meals so that you are less symptomatic and it will not disturb your sleep.  If this is an issue, consider having your veggies and fruits early in the day and your lighter proteins at night.  If breakfast is your problem make muffin cup egg quiche.  They also will help to add a little veggie to your morning. 

Plan your exercise for the best time for you.  I am not a morning person.  The idea of getting up early to exercise and actually doing it made me unhappy and more tired.  Because I have planned my dinners and cooked some of them ahead of time I am able to go to the gym or to the park right after work and exercise.  You should also consider how it is going to affect your sleep.  Sometimes the rev you get from working out can keep you from falling asleep.  So keep in mind you want to have three hours to unwind after you work out.  This does not include exercises you use to unwind such as yoga, meditation or stretching.  Those exercises will actually help you since the will center your mind and allow you to relax.

Plan for the stressful situations for the week.  If you have to bring the kids to practice straight after work do not include that day as your workout day.  We cannot be perfect and we need to find our balance.  We can also plan how you are going to unwind afterwards.  It might be as simple as taking 10 minutes to read or journal after you put the kids to bed or a bubble bath or a hot shower before bed.  Both will help you to unwind and the shower will actually help your body prepare for sleep by helping to bring your body temperature down as you dry off, a signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.

As women we tend to be overschedule and not know how to say no to anything.  We do need to make the time for ourselves so we can sleep well so we can be more productive.  If we take that little bit of time once a week to plan we will have less stress.  It is not about being perfect but removing some of the situations that stress us out so we are able to live better.


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