When you have a new baby (or even an older baby), sleep becomes a distant memory. Not only are you more likely to experience sleep deprivation or even postpartum insomnia, but you also might not be able to fall asleep at all.
Even if you had healthy habits before baby, all of that changes once you welcome that new bundle of joy into your life. If you want to fall asleep fast and actually stay asleep throughout the night (or naptime), follow these tips below.
1. Experience Daylight and Darkness
One of the best ways to train your body to sleep better at night is to make sure you're experiencing both daylight and darkness. During the day, expose yourself to some natural sunlight. This tells your body it's time to be awake.
Similarly, during nighttime, dim your lights. Avoid harsh lights from your phone or TV, and keep your home lights minimal to let your body know it's time for bed.
2. Stop Watching the Clock
When you get in the habit of checking your clock over and over again through the night, you promote insomnia. The repetitive checking produces anxiety and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.
Instead, remove the clock from your room or place it somewhere that's not visible from your bedside. The time doesn't matter, only the quality of sleep.
3. Skip Naptime
You know the saying "sleep when the baby sleeps?" This might not work for everyone. While you should catch up on sleep when you can, naptimes might only make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.
Studies show that those who nap for over 2 hours have the poorest overall sleep quality. That being said, if you must nap, keep it short and sweet. An under 30-minute nap will more for you than a long nap.
4. Relax Before Bedtime
When was the last time you took time to yourself before bed? With a new baby, that focus usually all goes to the little one. While it's important to spend time lulling your baby to sleep, why not also do the same for yourself?
Before bed, do something that helps you unwind. Here are some suggestions that we love:
- Take a relaxing milk bath
- Listen to your favorite podcast
- Apply a detoxifying mud mask
- Use a sleep-inducing night scrub
5. Limit Your Caffeine
Who doesn't love a fresh cup of coffee in the morning? What about the afternoon? Those afternoon pick-me-ups are a big help, but they have a lot of drawbacks at bedtime.
6. Be Patient with Yourself
Finally, avoid getting impatient. It's hard to control your feelings when you're not able to get the sleep you need. It really takes a toll on your body and your life.
Try to be patient. If you can't fall asleep fast, don't push it. Get up from bed, go to another room, and find something soothing to do. You might stretch your body, read a book, or practice meditation. It's all about creating a positive headspace for falling asleep naturally.
Catch More Zzzs, Mama!
All moms (and dads) deserve a bit more sleep. However, sleep doesn't always come easily with a baby around. With the endless late-night feedings and early morning wake-ups, getting to sleep fast might seem impossible.
Give these tips above a try to see how they help you. Every mama could use the full 8 hours, but we'll also take what we can get. Sweet dreams!