You just had a baby and you’re blissful, but you can’t seem to catch a good night’s sleep for the life of you!
Naturally, your baby’s the most beautiful thing in the world. But it’s been weeks since you’ve got a decent amount of shut-eye, and it doesn’t seem like you’ll get to catch up anytime soon.
Sleep deprivation can cause serious harm to your health. You’re getting moody and you can’t seem to think straight anymore, there’s just so much to consider.
Getting decent rest isn’t just a matter of comfort, it’s a matter of staying healthy and being the best mom you can be for your baby.
But what can you do to make it better?
This article will give you some vital tips for dealing with sleep deprivation as a new mom.
So read on and don’t fall asleep… yet.
1. Sleep Deprivation Is a Serious Health Concern
Getting enough sleep when you’re taking care of your newborn is essential, not only for yourself but for the people around you as well.
Sleep deprivation significantly increases the risks of accidents. If you’re exhausted and you get behind the wheel, you could be a danger to yourself and other drivers.
What’s more, sleep deprivation makes you more prone to anxiety and moodiness. Not only do you feel bad, but your personal relationships could suffer as well as a result.
Sleep works in cycles. If you want to get all the benefits of sleep, you need to get enough of what’s called “deep sleep.”
This phase of sleep is tasked with regenerating your body and bolstering your immune system. You can read more here to learn about how sleep works.
Getting enough rest will help you relax and preserve your health as well as your sanity.
2. Don’t Drink Too Much Coffee
What’s nicer than a cup of coffee in the morning?
It can be tempting to rely on this magical elixir to make it through the day. However, you shouldn’t consume too much of it as it can worsen the quality of your sleep.
You’ll get less deep sleep, and we saw how important that is. It’ll also make it harder to fall asleep when you finally get a moment to rest.
Coffee can disrupt your sleep even six hours after consumption. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine recommends stopping all caffeine intake after 2 PM.
3. Rest Whenever You Can
Whenever you have a little time to yourself, take the opportunity to lie down and rest. Even when you don’t really have enough time to take a proper nap, you should still do it.
Turn off distractions, put your phone away, and lie down on the couch. Don’t try to force yourself to fall asleep and turn that moment into a stressful internal debate.
Even if you don’t fall asleep, lying down and closing your eyes for a while can be very relaxing and restorative.
4. Sleep Close to Your Baby
There’s a simple solution to avoid having to endlessly get up in the night to feed your little one.
Keep him or her close enough so that you won’t have to walk across Mordor for feeding.
You could put a bassinet right next to your bed, or get one that hooks up to it. That way, all you have to do is lean on the side of the bed to get your baby.
After nursing, you can put him or her right back into the bassinet without having to break a sweat. Voila, you can go back to the arms of Morpheus.
5. Don’t Do It All by Yourself
There’s no good reason you should be the only one having to get up every night for feeding.
Enlist your partner’s help. If your partner’s unable to do it for whatever reason, it’s time to call on your mom or mother-in-law or any trustworthy volunteer for that matter.
If you’re bottle-feeding, it’s easy. But even if you’re breastfeeding, you can pump your breast milk earlier in the day.
Get your child used to drinking breast milk from a bottle early on. Then, someone else can do it when it’s time to feed at night. More sleep for you, hurray!
6. Choose Suitable Activities Before Sleep
After a tiresome day taking care of your newborn, the screen of your computer or television might seem very alluring. After all, you too deserve to relax.
Resist the temptation! The light from the computer screen and television tend to be too bright and stimulating for the eye. It’ll make it harder for you to fall asleep.
It’s recommended to stop using devices with a bright screen at least two hours before bed.
What to do then?
Listen to the radio, some quiet music, or read a book. Doing some stretching before bed, such as yoga, can also help unwind the day and get more restful sleep.
However, make sure to look up appropriate exercises, as your body’s still in recovery.
7. Limit Visitors
Having social support is nice, but receiving too many visitors can be draining.
If every time you have guests, you feel you have to entertain them, you might be expending too much energy by trying to be a good host.
Preparing food for several people, participating in a conversation, and making sure everyone’s happy can take more mental and physical energy than we think.
So you have to distinguish between the people whose presence is uplifting and the people who are more of a drain.
People who are compassionate and supportive, and understand that you have a lot on your plate are good visitors. They’ll provide you with a nice relief from the exhaustion of caring for a baby.
On the other hand, people who endlessly gossip, induce anxiety in you, are very demanding, and give little back are bad visitors.
Start Sleeping More
Being a new mom is very demanding and if you don’t watch out, you’ll quickly find yourself stressed-out and exhausted.
It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough rest. Your quality of life will improve, which will make you a better mom and partner.
Start using the hacks in this article today, and sleep deprivation will soon be a thing of the past.