Sleep deprivation for new parents is pretty normal. Although parents tend to have a different idea of parenthood before the child is born but the reality is that it is a lot different from what they think. Perhaps the only thing that makes motherhood difficult is sleep deprivation. Newborns have a very irregular sleeping pattern and they will mostly wake up crying, asking for your attention. As a result, you will feel tired and fatigued during the day, trying to catch every second’s worth of sleep. In other words, it is not easy caring for your baby. If you are already trained for what is about to come, parenthood might come a bit easy as well.
Give Yourself Time to Wind Down
Sleep deprivation calls for winding down. The goal here is to train yourself to fall asleep as soon as you feel tired. Most of the time, new parents tend to have trouble while sleeping because they are always concerned with their baby at the back of their mind. One way to wind yourself down is by giving yourself a bit of time to relax before you turn the lights off. Furthermore, turn your bright bedroom into a cozy setting at night, which will help you sleep fast. Just before an hour of your sleeping time, dim the lights and start transitioning into your regular sleep routine. This means you should carry out activities such as brushing your teeth and wearing sleepwear.
Talk About Your Sleep Needs
Parenthood is easy when the responsibility is shared between the parents. If you only expect the mother to take care of the newborn, then do not be surprised if she is not there to cook you food because the newborn might have drained all her energy. This is why it is important especially for mothers to talk about sleep needs with their partner. The reason is that new mothers tend to be on a recovering path after giving birth and will get tired relatively easily. Therefore, this is where the father should jump in to play his role in caring for the baby.
Limit Alcohol Consumption At Night
We are not saying that you should completely stop consuming alcohol at night but you should limit it to a certain quantity. As opposed to what most people think, alcohol might help with falling asleep but the sleep quality is going to be poor. There is nothing better than falling asleep naturally and waking up fresh. The reason is that alcohol metabolizes your system over the course of several hours and will also cause sleep deprivation. Therefore, if your thought that putting in a few shots at night will help you with sleeping, then you were wrong. Even if you somehow manage to sleep well, you are going to make up entirely wrecked.
Avoid Caffeine Late In The Day
When it comes to drinking coffee and its side effects, everyone reacts differently. It is the same case as with alcohol. Some people can drink multiple cups of coffee and will hardly feel anything. Whereas, others will simply put one down and they turn into zombies. Therefore, considering that caffeine in your system remains for upto 4 to 6 hours, you should be careful with its consumption. If you observe that your caffeine intake might be causing you to stay awake at night, you might want to eliminate it completely from your routine.
Say No To Added Responsibility
Motherhood is already tough and you cannot make it any more complicated. That is why sometimes you simply have to say no to added responsibility. This is the case when you have another child at home that wants your attention. For instance, if your older child wants you to attend his sport’s event, do not think twice about leaving the newborn at home. You just cannot do that. Sit down your older child and explain how you intend to care for the newborn and it might be impossible for you to even get out of the house for the next few months. Furthermore, discuss this with your husband as well so that he is prepared for the upcoming tasks and chores around the house.
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
This is perhaps the most important sleeping hack. Most parents even after their baby is asleep tend to keep themselves awake. This is not recommended if you are exhausted during the day and find it hard to get up from the bed once your baby is asleep. This is simply because you are not getting enough sleep and your body cannot cope with the stress since it does not have any energy stored. Therefore, it is important that you sleep when the baby sleeps. Even if your baby takes a nap, you should close your eyes and try to take a nap as well. It might be very tempting to carry out the chores inside the house such as cleaning and washing the clothes while your baby is asleep but do not ever do that. As soon as your baby is asleep, leave everything and get down to sleep as well. This will help you overcome anxiety as well since new mothers tend to experience that too.
Say Yes to Help
Sometimes you are going to need some help. So do not be ashamed to ask a friend or a neighbor to help you out with the chores, while you take care of the baby or take out some time to relax. Moreover, if somebody offers you help as well, say yes to them because believe it or not you are going to need it. Single mothers particularly find it very hard to manage their careers and kids. Therefore, they do need someone at times to look after their house or kids while they take out the time for themselves.
If you have tried everything to help you sleep but still cannot, you might be suffering from a disorder that needs treatment. Do not worry, it is a common occurrence in new parents, and seeking a bit of help will enable you to overcome that. Sleeping disorders are mainly concerned with irregular sleeping patterns due to extreme stress and fatigue. This is why you need a professional to help you with your sleep. Mothers who tend to gain significant weight during pregnancy might suffer from sleep apnea that causes pain in breathing while they sleep.
Stick To a Routine
Sticking to a routine significantly helps with overcoming anxiety and sleep deprivation. Even before you give birth to your child, you should consider developing a routine and following it religiously. Although you might have a tough time following it when pregnancy is at its peak but your body will come back to normal after birth and your sleeping routine is going to help you the most with it.
For instance, you should train yourself to sleep at 10 or 11 PM every night and wake up whenever your body feels like it. You should follow this routine the entire week and can take a day off or two to spend some time with friends and family members. As mentioned previously, motherhood is not supposed to be easy but atleast you can try to make it as much as possible.
Sleep In A Separate Room
When it is time for you to sleep, ask your partner to look after the child and you should go to a separate room that is preferably far away enough where you cannot hear the baby cry. We know it might sound weird but that is the only way you are going to get enough sleep. Otherwise, you are going to wake up as soon as you hear the first cry, and then it is going to be the same all over again. Therefore, if you have a separate room where noise can’t get to you, prefer that area for a refreshing sleep.
Take A Warm Bath
The human body tends to relieve and repair itself when you take a warm bath. That is why when we stand under warm water for a few minutes, we come out feeling fresh as a baby. If you have a shower tub in your bathroom, fill it up with warm water and get inside to relax for half an hour or so. Once you are done with it, you will feel sleepy. So hop onto the bed and go to sleep. You will sleep relatively faster and better. While taking a bath, you can read a book or carry out any other activity that helps your mind relax and take it off from the baby. Listen to your favorite music for that matter as well.
Taking out the time to exercise daily might sound weird when you have a baby in the house that demands all the time and attention. However, the thing is that exercising will keep you refreshed and energized as well. All that stress buildup inside your body will be pushed out and soon you will find yourself in a comparatively better state.
Several studies have been conducted on the relationship between exercising and insomnia and they have found that regular exercising helps reduce sleep deprivation. Furthermore, you should exercise early in the day rather than late at night. You should perform different types of exercises to ensure that the stress in every body part is pushed out.
Concluding, parenthood is both exciting and tough. While you cannot run away from the responsibilities, you should consider some tips to take care of yourself and your sleep. Make sure that you atleast try to exercise daily and sleep whenever possible to overcome sleep deprivation.