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Sometime around the third trimester, you realize that sleep as you know it may never be the same. Between the belly and the kicking and the plain old nerves of baby’s arrival, it’s near impossible. But from mama to mama? Now’s the time to start learning about some healthier sleep habits. For you, not baby. Because before you know it, baby will be here and his or her sleep is going to be all you can think about when you’re supposed to be in REM. “How many naps should baby be taking?” “Is baby breathing?” “Should I sleep train?” And while we admit that worry is something that comes with the parenting territory, we want you to get in the habit of checking in with yourself. Sleep, of course, is one of those things that’s unpredictable in those early stages, but at one point or another you’ll start getting into a routine, and you will be the one who needs the bedtime rules. We know, we know--we like to squeeze all we can out of a day too, but losing a few hours here and there can seriously have negative effects on you (and if you ask my fiancé, those around you who have to deal with cranky mama in the morning!). Lack of sleep can cause forgetfulness, depression, impair attention and can even kill your sex drive--as if that postpartum period wasn’t difficult enough to deal with on its own. A good night’s sleep is essential for your body and mind to repair and detox. Something we can all benefit from. So when Jawbone approached us about reviewing the Jawbone UP MOVE activity tracker and Smart Coach feature, it felt like the perfect time to work towards healthier habits. Here are 5 tips to help you work towards a better night’s sleep. 1. Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule. Your child has a regular bedtime. Why not you? Experts say that a regular sleep schedule helps maintain the timing of the body’s internal clock, enabling you to fall asleep and wake up easier. 2. Bring in reinforcements. No not sleeping pills. But some good old fashioned herbal remedies. Chamomile tea has been an age old remedy for sleep. So has lavender. This one is a favorite. 3. Get outside. Melatonin is controlled by light exposure so the more time you get outside, the more signals your body will get that it’s daylight, in turn secreting melatonin in the evening when it’s supposed to. Another good excuse to get our steps in throughout the day. 4. Shut off. Artificial light can really send your circadian rhythms haywire. As hard as it may be, try and turn off all electronics, phone, computer, and TV one hour before bed. You’ll be much happier for it in the morning. 5. Take a nap. While sleeping your full 7-9 hours of sleep each night is ideal, take the advice of everyone and their mother and sleep when baby sleeps. Even just a short 20-minute power nap can do wonders. This post was brought to you by Jawbone UP MOVE.

FEATURED VIDEO

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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