Sleep Tight: How Sleeping Well Makes You a Better Mother

Kelli here…

As I write this post, I am breaking just about every rule that Dr. Donnica Moore listed for maximizing your hours of rest and giving yourself every advantage to function well during the day.

So this post is a clear example of do as she says, not as I do.

Like all moms, I often find myself rolling out of bed in the morning and stumbling bleary eyed toward the coffee pot, begging it to work magic and get me through my day. Every morning, when my alarm clock goes off (and by alarm clock, I mean the three year old standing by my bed at the crack of dawn pleading for a drink because he might die of thirst before the sun peeks over the horizon) I promise myself that I’ll go to bed earlier. I mean, how hard is it to get in bed at a decent hour, right?

Apparently it’s pretty hard. And not only for me. According to Dr. Moore, the average woman only receives about 6.5 hours of sleep/night when really what we need for optimal health and function is 7-9 hours of sleep/night. So what is it that keeps us from laying down and shutting off?

For me, I’ve found that I relish the alone time at night after the kids go to bed. I need to unwind once everyone is settled, and that unwinding usually takes me about an hour. Unfortunately, instead of going to bed after I unwind, I ramp back up again with work, laundry, reading or television.

This leaves little time for the most fun way she mentioned to wind down before bed…*Ahem*. Watch the video – you’ll see what I mean.

But Dr. Moore makes some really great points about the importance of sleep for us as moms and rather than continue to ramble on about it, I will just let you hear it straight from her:

So tell me – how are you sleeping these days?


  1. says

    Getting enough sleep is my biggest struggle as a work-at-home mom. We work at home moms tend to do most of best work once the kids go to sleep… and when we really ought to be asleep. There’s no easy answer… it’s tough to get the work done and get the sleep we need. But it takes a major toll and I know it!

    Thanks so much Kelli for this important reminder.

  2. says

    I would say I get between 6.5 and 7 hours of sleep a night, and it’s definitely not enough. Everyone in my family suffers for it, because I’m cranky and irritable and no fun to be around. And I know I need to change it, but it’s really, really hard.

  3. Ivy says

    I get between 6.5 and 7 hours of sleep on average. some days it feels like enough… most day, not. My husband (having had kids from a prior marriage) often has to remind me to go to bed or get to sleep earlier every so often so that I can (barring any midnight bathroom runs from the toddler) get 7 to 8 hours of sleep before she wakes me up in the morning.

  4. Jean says

    I can totally relate. I even find that if I am up with a child (or dog!) during the night, and then get everyone back to sleep, I relish the “sound” of the whole household asleep and have to remind myself to go to sleep….otherwise, grumpy the next day….

  5. says

    I think I have the exact opposite problem…I get too much sleep. I know, crazy right? But lately I have been dragging and complaining that I can’t get any me time because I’m always looking after someone else. The answer–embrace my night owl. I have found I only need 6-7 hours of sleep and anymore just makes my groggy. Thankfully, my daughter doesn’t get up at the crack of dawn so my 2 year old alarm clock goes off about 8am. This has taken me a while to figure out, but I am happier and feel better rested in the morning. So my point…do what works for you.

  6. says

    Thank you so much for reminding us of the importance of sleep. Many of us are indeed sleep-deprived (I used to be one too), and I’ve found that you really do function better when you’ve had enough sleep. Many of my mommy friends struggle with sleep — I will definitely share this with them! :)

  7. says

    Sleep debt is a problem for most of us. When it is time to sleep…I find myself reading or still doing. Great practical advice on figuring out if we are morning and night person and have a bed time routine.


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