How Mothers Can Get More Sleep (And Why it’s Important)
We know how challenging it can be with a little one and trying to get quality sleep. Read on for some tips to help you create the sleep you need.
When we tell ourselves – or have others tell us constantly – how tired we’ll be, how tired we look, does that actually help?
I wonder how much we tell ourselves we’re going to be tired or exhausted because everyone tells us to expect it? Our mind and beliefs are very powerful. Often the daily mantra of “I’m tired” when someone asks how you’re going can be repeated more times than on a set of mala prayer beads.
Let’s also look at a few things like creating new healthy habits and basically changing things up a bit from your pre-baby life.
When you make sleep a priority it most likely will mean changing a few pre-baby habits.
If you know you need 8-10 hours normally to function at your best, you will definitely need to make some changes if you want to avoid becoming a zombie and possibly fall into a downward spiral.
Try to create a new habit of going to bed soon after your baby does, rather than pushing yourself to get household jobs done. You can still have time for a couple of simple task, or perhaps ‘me time’, or with your partner, just make it for no longer than an hour.
It’s great if your partner can be on the same page with you. You’re in this together after all.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’d push myself to stay up and just get a few things done
only to find it was 11pm, eyes falling out of my head, and I’d just get into bed and the baby would wake for a feed…. there went another hour. By then I’d be overtired and couldn’t sleep well. Vicious cycle created.
Here’s a tip: you could pick one night a week where you might sit up later if you’re going to be home the next day and can rest.
To help you wind down, try some chamomile tea around 6 – 7 pm, chamomile latte is a nice little night cap. Can you ask your partner to massage you with lavender essential oil in a carrier oil, on the shoulders and neck? Or put drops of lavender neat on your feet, wrists and behind your ears.
Oh and stay off screens mama! Social media is tempting, I know, it’s become such a big part of our lifestyle these days, but it will affect your sleep if you’re on them late at night.
Communicate with your partner and have an arrangement where they can take the baby after an early morning feed if he/she stays awake for a while after that. (The older they get, the more likely they will be an early bird. That is, until they become a teen!)
This gives your partner and baby some quality time together, while you have a sleep in, or a nap during the day. Even a 15 min nap can do wonders.
Vitamins and minerals are greatly needed for nourishing your body and creating hormones.(You knew I’d mention it, right!)
Hormones are affected by lack of nutrition and sleep, and sleep quality is affected by hormones. In fact your body uses the nutrients from your food while you’re sleeping to regulate hormones and flush out what the body doesn’t need.
If you’re not getting maximum nutrition, and on top of that not sleeping well it can leave you feeling exhausted, and overwhelmed by emotions of crankiness, depression, hopelessness, and feeling it’s all too hard.
Some essential vitamins and minerals are: magnesium, iron, B6 and B12, Vit C – which reduces cortisol levels from stress, and Vit D.
You want to get these vitamins from your whole and cooked foods, and get some sunshine on your bare skin (without sun screen) each day, especially your thighs. Early morning sun is great in spring/summer.
You getting sleep isn’t about trying to make the baby sleep more.
Babies wake for a reason, and you need to be able to meet their needs, even when you might not know what exactly they need some times.
The reality is, babies wake often for feeds, belly pain, a wet nappy, teething pain, wanting comfort or other reasons.
When you are honouring your need for sleep, you can better cope with meeting the demands from your little one. You can do this, mama.
Buona Notte !