Having a baby in the house can easily translate to sleep deprivation for a lot of mothers. While it’s understandable why mums would want to take good care of their offspring to the point of putting their own needs second, sacrificing hours of sleep can be detrimental in the long run.
Not only will you become groggy and grumpy during the day, running around with only a few hours of sleep can also make you more prone to accidents. Webmd cites a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which said that driving while drowsy is responsible for about 100,000 car crashes annually.
The best way to get around this problem is to sleep when you can. Sleep Health Foundation advises napping during the day, rationalising that broken sleep is better than no sleep at all. The article also suggests taking a nap at the same time your child is dozing off to catch up on a lack of sleep. While most mothers opt to do other chores while their baby is napping, it might be better in the long run for you and for your child if you also use this time to get some rest.
For many babies, nap time is usually during the early afternoon, which is the natural time during the day when a person – whether child or adult – feels the urge to sleep. Other children, however, follow a different body clock. To adjust to their schedule, here on Sleep Fairy & Parent Rescue previously suggested keeping track of their eating and sleeping habits so you can anticipate what time during the day they are most likely to doze off. During this time, it would be a good idea to clear your schedule, including setting aside chores for later, so you can catch up on your sleep.
Mayo Clinic also has a list of tips for mothers to make it easier for them to get some rest even with a baby in the house. This includes eliminating distractions, such as putting your phone on silent mode or turning it off completely, and sleeping in a darkened room to make it easier for you and your child to fall asleep quicker.
It’s important that you also focus on the quality of sleep you are getting during your nap times. Leesa recommend that new mums should focus on staying well-rested instead of obsessing about the number of hours of sleep they get. After all, everyone is different. Some people may already feel that they feel really alert even if they get less than six hours of sleep per day, while there are those who need a minimum of 8 hours in order to feel sufficiently rested.
If you still can’t fall asleep, don’t panic. Walk around a bit until you feel tired enough to rest your eyes. If all else fails, Parents.com still suggests lying down and putting your feet up even if you’re not drowsy. Just the act of getting off your feet can help you feel rested, even if you don’t to fall asleep straight away.