By April Kinney
As new mothers, we do not have any issues sleeping. We can fall asleep, stay asleep, and easily get 8 hours of sleep. The only problem is that throughout the night the baby needs to be fed, the toddler wants a cuddle, or we are so conditioned to sleep in 2-to-4-hour blocks that we wake up anyway.
Before our first baby was born, we knew that functioning in a sleep-deprived state would be a challenge. But what we didn’t know was how continual sleep deprivation would impact our moods, our relationship, and our ability to function on a day-to-day basis.
This was our reality and we needed to find a way to function, despite our lack of sleep. I started doing some research but every book I found addressed the baby’s sleep or sleep issues such as insomnia or sleep apnea. I needed something that would help me and my partner cope with sleep deprivation, not something that would help me sleep better.
This article discusses 10 easy ways to help you feel better during the days, weeks, months, or even years you find yourself in a sleep-deprived state. They include:
- Sleep Before Midnight
- Involve Your Partner
- Plan Ahead
- Seek Inspiration
- Use Cold Therapy
- Use Aromatherapy
- Listen to Music
- Eat and Drink Well
Sleep Before Midnight. This one seems obvious but can be difficult to manage. Your best option is to go to sleep early. Do not try to push yourself to a “normal bedtime.” Just go to sleep, even if it is 6 or 7 pm. My partner was happy to stay awake and do the 9 pm feeding so I could get a good block of sleep before midnight. The more hours of sleep I got before midnight, the better I felt in the morning.
Involve Your Partner. Be willing to ask for help. Many men are happy to stay up late but struggle with broken sleep throughout the night. Not that we do not struggle, but women seem to manage it better. So, use this to your advantage and ask for help in the evening so you can get a good block of uninterrupted sleep. You might allow your baby to have a bottle during this one feeding, even if you are breastfeeding. It will help your partner bond with the baby and allow you some much-needed sleep.