Did you know that on average new parents lose 30+ days of sleep in the first 12 months of their child’s life? Not only that, but according to the sleep brand Simba’s latest survey, parents will also pace close to 2 miles while rocking/bouncing their babies, accruing up to 730 miles (the equivalent of 28 marathons) over a 12-month period.
Talk about exhausting. No wonder new mamas are feeling so worn out. Without sleep (one of the 6 Pillars of Wellness) our bodies miss out on much-needed rest and detoxification time which adds to the chronic stress you’re already under.
Implement strategies that help you fall asleep faster and boost the quality of the sleep you do get.
The trick is to keep trying a bunch of different things within the restraints you have (e.g. having to pump in the night or getting kicked in the gut by your toddler). Focus on getting as much quality sleep you can with these tips inspired by Dr. Oscar Serrallach’s book The Postnatal Depletion Cure:
Where does sleep fall currently? Is it behind catching up on the latest Netflix series? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your sleep is more important right now. Reframe sleep as self-care and get back to Netflix when your baby sleeps better.
The old adage “sleep when the baby sleeps” isn’t around for nothing. If you can nap, do it. Dishes be damned (see #1).
Limit your exposure to blue light an hour (or more) before bed. That means ditch the phone or get yourself a pair blue light blocking glasses.
Your kid isn’t the only one who benefits from a routine. Take a shower/bath, drink some tea, and read a book. Your body will remember and begin to correct your circadian rhythm in time.
Are you drinking caffeine into the afternoon? Eating a sugary snack before bed? What about having a glass of wine within 2 hours of bedtime? All of these things can ruin your sleep. Consider shifting your schedule or ditching these items altogether.
Are you sleeping with your head next to a bunch of digital devices? Keep electronics charging in the living room, block out as much light as you can, and turn the air conditioner on for best chances of sleep.
If you’ve done all of the above and still need some help, work with a practitioner (like me) to determine what kind of supplementation your body may benefit from.
The most important thing to remember is that sleep is a form of self-care and should be treated as such. Prioritizing sleep over free time isn’t the fun or sexy answer, but it will make you feel a whole lot better. Your kiddos will eventually sleep through the night, until then, try the above tips and sleep when you can!
Interested in learning more about how I serve women on their postpartum journey as they navigate nutrition, sleep, stress, and more? Click here to learn about my Mama Restore program – a six-month journey that focuses on bringing your body back into balance so you can feel like yourself again.