Women in America are tired. Between jobs, housework, children, husbands, errands, cooking, we’ve got a lot on our plates (not that we’re complaining, of course). We never seem to get caught up on our rest and sleep because there’s always so much to do.

But what if you get plenty of sleep and you still feel tired? As it turns out, it’s not the amount that affects us so much as the quality. Poor-quality sleep interferes with our energy and keeps it vibrating at a low level, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Although we’re desperate to rest and sleep, we never fully turn off. There’s always that to-do list running through our minds, like background music. We’re like computers in sleep mode—not fully awake, but not fully asleep either.

One factor that affects women’s sleep quality is motherhood. Even after our children stop waking at night (even after they move out of the house!), we continue to sleep with one eye open and stir at the slightest sound. We conditioned ourselves when our kids were infants to spring to their aid. Now that we don’t have to spring anymore, we still are in mama-bear mode, mostly because it never occurred to us that we’d have to recondition ourselves all over again, to do the opposite.

But first, how can you improve the overall quality of your sleep? In this wired age, the trick is to completely turn off and let our bodies go into repair and restore mode. In other words, we have to give ourselves permission to let go and fall into deep, restful sleep, instead of our usual light, restless, watchful sleep. Below are some tips to maximize your sleep effectiveness.

 Establish a bedtime routine. Go to bed at roughly the same time every night. Your body will respond by getting the message that it’s time to sleep and will fall into a deeper sleep.
 Don’t watch any stressful or stimulating TV shows for two hours before bedtime.
 Before bed, give yourself some time (even if it’s just 15 minutes) to read, meditate, pray, do yoga or tai chi. Make a rule that during this time, you’re not allowed to think about what you need to do tomorrow, what you left undone today or what you should be doing right now instead of taking care of yourself.
 Before your relaxation time, prepare yourself by emptying your mind of all the have-tos and chores. Get a notebook specifically for this purpose. Each night before your quiet time, write down everything that you need to do the next day. This will give your brain permission to let these chores go, because otherwise your brain believes it has to be alert to remember the list.
 In a separate section of the notebook, write down everything that’s bothering you. Then let it go. In another section, write down everything that you’re grateful for.

Author's Bio: 

Carolyn Cooper is a gifted Energy Intuitive and teacher of cutting-edge vibrational healing. Through inspiration and years of experience, Carolyn has created SimplyHealed, a unique energy-healing training course in which anyone can learn how to heal themselves and others. These trainings attract an international audience. Cooper also publishes an e-newsletter called "Living in the Flow" and was a contributing author of the book 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health. Visit her blog at http://www.CarolynCooper.com/blog.