In this week’s Sleep Diary, the 44-year-old tech consultant learns how to develop the healthy sleep habits she craves.
A little about me:
Profession: technical consultant
Nightly sleep time: 5-6 in total, maybe
How many hours of sleep you want to get each night: 8 hours (continuous)
Formally diagnosed sleep-related problems (insomnia/sleep apnea): No
Do you grind your teeth/have nightmares: No
Amount of water you drink on average per day: 5 cups
How much caffeine do you drink on average per day? two cups of coffee
How much exercise do you do on average per week: Unfortunately not much. I recently purchased an under desk treadmill. This is because my work keeps me sedentary.
I work from home and pick my son up from daycare around 5pm. I usually eat pizza between meals on Fridays, but I went out the night before and my son and babysitter were eating pizza, so I went to the drive-thru to buy a chicken sandwich.
I didn’t eat lunch, but my son eats loudly, so I eat it in the car on the way home. When I get there, I play a little bit and then watch a movie at 8:30pm before he goes to bed.
Once he’s in bed, I put the elf on the shelf, run the dishwasher, and try to get myself some work done before going to bed. , respond to text messages, then turn off the lights.
Baby monitors are a bit finicky and can give you disturbing alerts in the middle of the night. I wake up at 3am, go to the bathroom, and do the show. I’ve been tossing and turning since watching the show until about 5am.
My son wakes me up at 6:51 am. I’m lying in bed until about 7:30 am while my son watches the show. I wake up feeling groggy and ready for a nap. Then go for a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, eggs and bacon.
the 2nd day
The weather is rainy and cold so we have a lazy day and have dinner with leftover pizza around 7pm.
We eat it in front of the TV, watch the show, then put my son to bed around 8:45pm. I read him a few stories, tucked him in, then set up the elves on the shelf and finished designing holiday cards on my laptop.
I go outside for a few minutes to get my emails, then head to my room. At 9:30 PM, I turn on the TV and watch a documentary while enjoying an ice cream in bed.
I nearly fell asleep but was awakened by phone alerts and sounds from my son’s room. will wake you up around 4am.
I sleep soundly until my son wakes up around 7:30 in the morning. I have an omelet and coffee for breakfast.
My son woke up and wanted to go to the children’s museum, so I went there after breakfast. We spent about two hours walking around and playing around the museum and by the end we were pretty exhausted, in fact he ended up taking his hour and a half nap.
While he sleeps, I rest on the sofa and watch the program. I nap here and there, but I can’t get into a deep sleep.
When my son wakes up from his nap, I watch a show, play, and then have chicken for dinner around 6:30pm.
After dinner, I give my son a shower, then I make popcorn and watch a movie with him until he goes to bed.
Once he’s in bed, I move the elf and work on some items for work online. Reply to someone’s text message and finally doze off.
From about 3:00 am, the coughing continues until about 5:00 am, so we put on a show as background noise. I never really fall asleep.
My son wakes up at 6:51am and I sleep with him until 8:30am. Then get up and have breakfast. I have coffee and pancakes.
I work from home and don’t leave my computer much, but it was nice to be able to use the new under-desk treadmill for about an hour. That said, I rarely get a break from screen time during the day, and I don’t even have time for lunch.
When it’s time for dinner, I make turkey meat and eat it around 7pm. I put my son to bed at 8:30pm, prepare my elves for tomorrow, and then get back to my computer until about 10pm.
I eat ice cream and go to bed around 10:15pm, then watch shows and scroll through my phone until around 11:30pm.
At 12:51 am I wake up again and spend most of the night tossing and turning. Meanwhile, I turn on the show for background noise and sleep lightly until about 7:30 am. I have coffee and a banana for breakfast.
I was invited to a work party today, so I picked my son up from school early in the morning.
I head to the party around 5:30 pm and enjoy three glasses of wine with my friends.
I got home around 10:30pm, had another glass of wine and a slice of leftover pizza before going to bed.
I head to bed, turn on the TV, and drift off to sleep. My son didn’t wake me up until 8:15am.
So what does that mean?Sleep Experts Share Their Thoughts
Dr. Nerina Ramlakan, sleep expert and specialist physiologist, said: “Your sleep habits aren’t great, so I really want to help you. I know your lifestyle isn’t helping you sleep, which is good, but with young kids and a busy job, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to sleep.” As a single parent with a heavy heart, you need to make the necessary changes to feel rested. I have.
“Where to start? It’s nice to have breakfast, especially if you choose the high-protein option, but your nutrition isn’t great. That’s a big tick! But at night in bed watching TV PLUS sugar while scrolling.” Ingesting too much will give you the worst sleep possible.”
Dr Nerina continues: A lot of people do this because it’s uncomfortable just lying with her and listening to her thoughts and not falling asleep early, or better yet, work on a bedtime routine. Perhaps an Epsom salt bath and listening to a relaxing book or music before bed. Can you find the perfect bedtime story to read or listen to that will help you get out of the feeling of being safe and comfortable? After all, we sleep when we feel safe.
“Finally, I don’t know how old your child is, but do you really need a still monitor? Or at least can you turn the volume down? I feel that I am staying in and preventing the deep levels of restorative sleep that I need and deserve.
Those who wish to participate stylistFor a sleep diary, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘SLEEP DIARIES’ and your age. We are waiting for your reply.
Lead Image Design: Ami O’Callaghan
Other Pictures: Getty