Mothers and Sleep Deprivation: How To Sleep Better : If you’re a first-time mother, the most common comment you will hear is “say goodbye to a good night’s sleep.” It’s a universal truth that once the baby is born, you will spend most of your waking hours tending to his/her needs especially during the first few months.
In a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 43.5% of single mothers reported sleeping less than 7 hours in a 24-hour period. Aside from this, body aches and discomforts brought about by having to multitask and juggle several responsibilities at once can also affect the quality of your sleep.
Breastfeeding often plays a part in sleep deprivation too. Women who nurse their babies are more likely to have disrupted sleep than those using formula. Although with breast pumps, storage bags, and cups available almost everywhere, breastfeeding is not nearly as exhausting as it used to be since mothers now have the option of having their partner feed the child at night time.
Still, even though it’s only for a few weeks or until the baby’s circadian rhythm has matured, not getting enough sleep has several negative effects on you. Don’t miss these tips for better sleep:
How Do You Sleep Better?
- Go to bed early. Some mothers wait for the child to sleep and then they spend some ‘me’ time by watching TV or reading books and then end up hitting the hay almost midnight. The problem with this is you cannot count on uninterrupted sleep. Sleeping early will still give you enough rest even if there are several disruptions throughout the night.
- Address your body aches to avoid having a poor quality sleep. Maintain a neutral arm and wrist position by wearing an adjustable brace which can be worn at night to manage arm pain and swelling. Carrying your growing baby for long hours can take a toll on your back and wrist. To manage this, you can wear a back support for back pain and do back stretches.
- Nap when your baby sleeps. Sometimes if you’re too exhausted to function, you need to set aside all the to-do list and prioritize your sleep. Napping beside your little one is a sound idea because even power naps can help energize you.
- Create your own ritual to prepare your mind and body for sleep. It can be as simple as drinking a warm glass of milk or playing soothing music.
- Draft a weekly schedule and stick to it as much as you can. As a mother, you might choose to do the laundry or clean the house over getting some sleep. However, if you manage your time well, you can accomplish all your tasks without compromising sleep. Besides, weekly activities like washing clothes can be done during the weekends when your partner can take over the babysitting.
- Instead of waking up in the middle of the night to breastfeed, pump during the day, store it in the fridge and just let your partner do the feeding so you can sleep more soundly and without any interruptions.
- Delegate other tasks. Accept the fact that you cannot do everything. As much as you can, ask for other people’s help for things like buying groceries or running errands.
- Make sure your room is comfortable to sleep in. Choose a mattress that is soft and a pillow that provides good support for your head and neck. These will make you look forward to hitting the snooze button.
- You can tuck the baby in the crib or bassinet while you’re getting a home massage. Aside from relieving those muscle knots, it can also help reduce your stress and anxiety thus aid you to sleep better.
Sleep is an absolute necessity. It should be listed in your priorities just like eating a balanced diet and staying physically active. In the first few months after your baby’s birth, one of the key secrets is to enlist the help of others such as your spouse, parents, in-laws, neighbors, or close friends.
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