My 10 Top Tips For Coping With Sleep Deprivation

A lot of us are guilty of not prioritising our own sleep and our well-being as a whole. Self -care ends up at the bottom of the list, I know it is for me with juggling work, my boys and running the house. I sometimes need that reminder that I am important too.

When we become new parents, we tend to prioritise our baby’s needs, which of course we need to do as they are heavily reliant on us to meet their needs. However, in order for us to care for our baby’s needs we do need to look after ourselves too, even more so with the lack of sleep.

Sleep deprivation is hard, and no amount of baby prepping can prepare you for this, it is different for everyone and of course, everyone has differing levels of sleep needs. However, if you previously loved those lie-ins and loved your 8 hours then been woken by a tiny baby is going to be difficult.

 

Here are a few tips to help you cope with sleep deprivation

 

  1. Sleep when baby sleeps, yes, I know this may not always be possible and especially when you have other children. However, try to rest whilst you can, day and night times may be a bit upside down for those first few weeks so prioritise rest and sleep when you can.
  2. Rest your mind, it’s so easy to overthink things and especially when we are tired and not thinking clearly. Try relaxing the mind with some mediation or relaxing music. The headspace app has some great ones or practice mindful breathing.  This exercise can be a great one to do if you are having a particularly bad day, take a deep breath, place your hand on your heart and remind yourself that you did the best that you could with the resources you had (time, energy, sanity) that you had today. On the in-breath give yourself some love, kindness and compassion, on the out-breath know that tomorrow is a new beginning.
  3. Priorities, there are some things that certainly can wait and will not need your immediate attention. Don’t feel guilty for relaxing on the sofa with baby in your arms, some things can wait.
  4. Ask for help, call on your partner and family to help to give you time to rest and sleep when you can. Share the load and try not to fit within being the perfect mum, wife, partner and having the perfect house as perfection doesn’t exist.
  5. Preparation, having everything to hand can make life so much easier. Ensure you have a changing bag or basket both upstairs and downstairs, fill it with all the essentials, nappies, wipes, baby’s change of clothes, muslins, etc so that it saves you running up and down the stairs this can be a lifesaver in those early weeks.
  6. Journal, before you go to bed write down five things that went right today, these can be the simplest of wins such as I washed my hair today or I drank a whole cup of tea. Then write down 5 things your baby or child did today that made you smile. Then 5 things that you are grateful for.
  7. Implement a good bedtime routine for yourself, we often set great routines up for our children but forget about ourselves. We often go to bed far later than we should, so go to bed early and leave the phones and technology downstairs. Blue light interferes with our melatonin production and means that we can’t switch off to go to sleep. Also googling during those night feeds can be a disaster for our own sleep too.
  8. Get outside, fresh air is a great way to boost the endorphins and it helps to naturally calm us. Fresh air helps us sleep better overall too, plus surrounding ourselves in nature is great for the mind.
  9. Find your mummy tribe, this is an important one find those friends that are there for you to hold you, to listen to you, to share the highs and lows of parenting with. Getting out to groups can lead to you making your best friend for life.
  10. Lastly always remember that this wont last forever, sleep will get better

 

 

 

Sweet Beginnings Babycare

 Claire is based in Maidstone, Kent and her sleep consultancy, baby massage and baby yoga classes offer a nurturing space for mum and baby to relax, recharge and connect. Claire has an extensive background in childhood studies and baby care. 

 

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