Almost all moms are exhausted. The level of fatigue during the newborn phase is mind-blowing. Luckily, this phase of motherhood doesn’t last forever. But even after your baby is sleeping more at night, many moms and dads are running on empty. So how can we get more sleep even if our kids aren’t the best sleepers? A few of these sleep hacks may make the difference between a good night’s sleep and one that leaves you dragging the next day.
Five hacks for tired moms:
Set a Realistic Goal
If you have a newborn, sleeping more than a few hours straight may not be possible until they settle into a longer pattern. Look at your situation and determine how much sleep you’d like to aim for each night. Write down that number and post it somewhere visible as motivation. Try to aim for a goal that is realistic for both of you. Then do what you can to make this goal happen. Maybe this involves sleeping in shifts with your partner. Maybe it means a different feeding arrangement. Talk to your partner to determine the best way to meet each other’s sleep requirements, knowing that you and your partner will not have long nights of quality sleep during the newborn stage unless you hire a night nurse, or someone comes in to help.
Get Serious About Bedtime
If you want more sleep but your baby wakes each day at 6am, one solution is to go to bed earlier in the evening. Set a bedtime and do your best to stick to it. It’s easy to get distracted with social media or television, so set a timer on your phone thirty minutes before bedtime as a reminder to start winding down. Winding down is important in the sleep process and is a way to relax your body before falling asleep. It gives you a little peace and quiet and helps you fall asleep faster.
It’s true what they say: screen time before bed really does interfere with sleep. A 2014 study found that people who used e-readers before bedtime took 10 minutes longer to fall asleep and felt less rested the following day. Another study found that participants who used iPads two hours before bed had noticeably lower level of melatonin. The takeaway? Turn off television, computers, tablets, phones, and watches an hour before bed. It’s a difficult habit to break, but worth it if your sleep is compromised. And if you get up in the middle of the night, don’t turn your phone on. Instead, put an alarm clock next to your bed so you’ll know what time it is if you wake up.
Upgrade the Quality of Your Sleep
Whether you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable newborn or just wake up in the morning feeling tired, it may be time to improve your sleep conditions. Be sure that you’re sleeping in a very dark and quiet room. If you’re room-sharing with your baby, consider using white noise. If you find it difficult to calm your mind at bedtime, try essential oils like lavender or Roman chamomile before bed. If you live in a city, check out blackout curtains to filter out the bright city lights.
Indulge in Rituals That Help You Sleep
Life with a baby can leave you feeling exhausted, disjointed and out of sorts. If you need to ground yourself, consider creating rituals in the morning or just before bed. Some ideas include a bedtime journal or gratitude list, restorative yoga, or even just waking up early and enjoying a cup of coffee in peace. These rituals will help you establish sleep patterns that stay with you throughout motherhood.
New Mama Deck and Life Hack Decks™
Why were New Mama Decks created? New Mama Decks were created to help new mothers ease into the transition of parenthood, reduce isolation, and manage the stress that comes along with having a newborn.
Our other decks include:
Date Deck™ to help you and a partner stop doing the “same old thing” and go exploring, learn more about each other, and have fun together.
Declutter Deck™ offers organizing prompts to help you get and stay organized at home. By breaking down decluttering into bite-sized pieces, you will eventually declutter and organize your entire home.
Dorm Deck to send along to school with your college student. This deck provides subtle reminders of things that will make their lives that much easier when it’s their first time away from home. Includes reminders to call home and text often.
Random Acts of Kindness Deck to help you discover kind things to do for others who either play a significant part in your life, or with whom you’d love a deeper connection.
What Are Life Hack Decks™? – Delegate to the Deck
Life Hack Decks™ are powerful micro-prompt motivational cards to make your life easier while reducing stress in your day. These instructional decks simplify ineffective routines and help you go from stuck and overwhelmed to inspired and empowered. Life Hack Decks™ take the stress out of decision-making and motivate you to tackle things you’ve been putting off for years. Our Hack Decks™ of 52 cards allow you to focus on the things that bring you joy, happiness, and connection with others rather than lingering in the mundane, anxiety-producing ruts in which we often find ourselves.