If you’ve recently welcomed a newborn child into the world, chances are that you’re deliriously happy but also severely lacking in sleep.
In fact, almost 50 percent of parents who have children aged six months or younger receive only one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, according to a sleep survey published on Parents.com. With this obvious lack of sleep on a daily basis, it’s often a struggle to perform basic tasks.
Over time, this can turn into an endless and frustrating cycle. In order to help you out, here’s our survival guide for new moms struggling with sleep deprivation.
Causes of Poor Sleep
If you’re desperate for some sleep but can’t seem to catch a break, there may be several factors in the mix contributing to your sleep deficit.
Firstly, erratic hormones triggered by your child’s birth can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep. You might resort to taking short naps during the day, which can help you feel more rested but might make it even more difficult to fall asleep at nighttime.
Napping too much outside of normal sleep time, and using consuming endless cups of coffee to combat daytime sleepiness are some common coping mechanisms used by people who are sleep-deprived.
However, these methods can essentially backfire on you, leading to an even more compounded sleep problem. Mercey Livingston of Parsley Health explains that coffee increases your stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, making you feel more tired than you were in the beginning, and napping can pretty quickly knock your sleep schedule out of order.
Luckily, there are some easy ways for you to get back to getting some restful sleep.
Effective Sleeping Tips
In order to get you through those sleepless nights, here are a few suggestions to improve your sleep quality:
- To help you and your baby adjust your sleep habits, try to keep your baby awake and active during the day, and gradually transition to a calmer atmosphere in the evening. You can dim the lights, use a quieter speaking voice, and reduce any screentime from electronics. This helps establish the difference between day and night routines and promote longer periods of uninterrupted sleep.
- If you have a partner, it’s a good idea to share the burden when it comes to wake-up calls at night. For instance, taking turns on bottle-feeding or diaper duty enables you to get some rest when it’s your partner’s turn.
- One of Sleep Foundation’s sleep tips for new parents is to avoid bed-sharing. They say that while it’s tempting to snuggle with your newborn, “it’s best for moms to place their baby back in the crib or bassinet after nursing,” because being alone in the bed could improve your chances of getting good quality sleep.
- For new parents, the Sleep Council suggests ensuring you have a clutter-free environment as well as keeping your room cool and dark to promote restful sleep.
- While it may be tempting to do everything on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help when it’s needed. This lets you have some precious time for yourself to relax and unwind, maybe with a warm bath and some scented candles.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to start sleeping soundly in no time, leaving you well rested for the challenging task of raising your newborn.
If you’re still feeling stressed throughout the day, feel free to check out our previous article on calming tips for busy moms.