Baby's are notorious for their unpredictable sleep schedules. Sometimes they might sleep soundly through the night, and other times you're left stumbling in the dark at 4 am. While most moms experience some postpartum insomnia, getting back to sleep after being interrupted isn't always easy no matter what your nightly sleep looks like.
Even if you feel tired all the time, falling asleep after a late-night wake up is stressful. As hard as we try to go to sleep, we end up tossing and turning endlessly. Since sleep is so essential to moms, let's talk about the best 4 am tricks to get back to sleep fast after baby wakes you up.
1. Keep Your Electronics Off
We know how tempting it is to check your phone when you can't catch any zzzs. Social media always sings its siren call, especially late at night. However, those electronics emit blue light which actually tricks your body into thinking it's daytime. That'll just leave you struggling to sleep further.
Since you don't want to fall victim to sleep deprivation, keep your phone off. Avoid turning on the TV or other electronic distractions if you can. Keep the lights dim and electronics off!
2. Follow the 15 Minute Rule
We've all tossed and turned for hours or longer during these late-night wake-up sessions. Instead of laying endlessly waiting for sleep to come, follow the 15-minute rule. This rule says if 15 minutes pass, it's time to get out of bed.
While you shouldn't watch the clock (that's a recipe for anxiety!), when it feels like it's been 15 - 20 minutes, get out of bed. Why? When you leave the bedroom, you "reset" your mind. You step away from the stress of not being able to sleep and stop associating your bed with sleep anxiety.
3. Do Self-Care
Self-care is perfect at any time, but it's especially important when you can't get to sleep. Relax a bit and treat yourself. Think of this as an extra chance to pamper yourself. You work hard, mama, so give yourself some TLC. Here are some ideas for late-night self-care that will send you to dreamland faster:
4. Listen to a Podcast or Music
If you're trying to lure yourself to sleep without electronics or bright lights, listening to a podcast or music is a great idea. Keep the volume low and try to relax.
It's all about keeping your mind from thinking it's time to wake up. There are a number of podcasts and playlists designed to send you to sleep, so give them a try to see how they work for you.
5. Do a Brain Dump
A lot of people struggle with nighttime anxiety, especially moms. If you can't stop the racing thoughts or worries, try a brain dump. A brain dump is when you write out everything that's on your mind.
Grab a piece of paper (no phones, remember), and start writing. This doesn't even have to be a formal to-do list. Just list out everything from chores, worries, etc. If you're worried about laundry piling up, write that down. If you need to get that stain out of baby's new outfit, write it down. Nothing is too large or too small.
Once everything is down, let yourself breathe a bit. Now that everything's down on the page, you won't forget it. Give yourself the freedom to let go for now.
Get to Sleep Faster
If baby wakes you up in the middle of the night, don't stress! Getting back to sleep is possible with these tips above. Babies struggle with sleep regression, so these late-night wakes ups are normal and expected.
As long as you have a strategy for falling asleep when you do wake up, the rest will fall into place. It's time to get better sleep every night. You deserve it!