Sleep as much as you can during your pregnancy, because once the new baby comes along, sleep becomes a luxury. Caring for a newborn can be stressful and overwhelming. Also, the baby can hardly tell the difference between day and night. Add to it the breastfeeding sessions at night. All in all, a peaceful night’s sleep becomes all the more difficult.
But did you know that sleep is as important as food and water for the body? Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to physiological problems and can worsen your stress levels. In worst cases, lack of sleep can severely impact how you handle your day. With a newborn at home, managing everything can become a serious struggle in such cases.
Here are 7 tips to help you manage sleep deprivation:
1. Make friends with naps
If sleep at night is difficult, work out sometime during the day for naps. Even a short 30-minute nap can do wonders to give you the much-needed boost! While it is not a replacement for a night’s sleep, it is certainly better than going through the day while you are low on energy.
2. Don’t hesitate to ask for help
We have been conditioned to believe that mothers are supposed to be superwomen and that sleep deprivation is for the weak. That is not true! Mothers are humans and they need sleep as much as everybody else. So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where the work gets too much, ask for help. It could be a partner, a family member, a friend, a work colleague, or hired help. Just know that there is no shame in asking for help when you need it. You do NOT have to do everything yourself.
3. Make your bedroom your haven
Having trouble falling asleep even after your baby has gone to sleep? It could be a sign of being overtired or it could be stress. Keep your bedroom free from clutter and electronic gadgets. Use dim lighting to help you calm down as you sleep. Use a clean and fresh bed linen and a comfortable mattress.
What you wear while sleeping also plays an important role. A comfortable nursing bra, for instance, can make a world of difference in how relaxed you feel while you sleep. The Chloe Dream Bra made from organic cotton is just the thing you need. You can also check out the Emma Paris Racerback Sleep Bra for a relaxed fit.
4. Use relaxation techniques
Breathing exercises to calm yourself can work wonders. This is especially true when the stress of the day keeps you away from unwinding at night. You could also put on some light, soothing music or read a book before you turn in for the night.
5. Take care of your nutrition
Are you having a nutritious diet and keeping yourself hydrated? Eating food that is high in fat and salts can cause more harm than you think. Apart from being unhealthy, it can make you feel sluggish during the day. On the other hand, eating balanced, healthy meals can keep your energy levels high. Proper hydration can also make you feel fresh and energetic.
6. Get some sun when you can
Going out to soak in the sun can be quite beneficial for you. The fresh air can be energizing. At the same time, your body’s internal clock will register that it is daytime and it will help you function more efficiently during the day. Also, a walk outdoors is a great exercise for new mothers.
7. Don’t stress yourself out
We know this is easier said than done. After all, stress is almost a given when you are a new mother. Also, many women go through postpartum depression. However, remember that this is only a phase. Your baby will grow up before you know it and the sleepless nights will be a thing of the past soon. Also, you are not alone; most new mothers go through post-delivery stress. So, just relax and take support from other new mothers like you. You can also read about other mummies' experiences/challenges in our motherhood reads.
When the going gets tough, know how to deal with it! You need to accept that you cannot do everything yourself. Cut yourself some slack and take help whenever you can. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Have a little bit of patience and be kind to yourself. Above all, try to stay happy and enjoy the new motherhood!