Oh, sweet sleep.
If you are pregnant now, I’m sure you are hearing everyone tell you “Get your sleep now, because when the baby comes you won’t be getting any!.”
If you are postpartum, I’m sure you are hearing everyone give advice on best ways to get your newborn to sleep.
If you are a mom in any stage, you are probably wondering why you ever complained of being tired before you had kids.
Sleep is so important for so many reasons. Without proper rest, we can become more prone to feeling overwhelmed and anxious in addition to just feeling plain exhausted. Not having energy to do much of anything, let alone take care of ourselves. Whatever energy we do have we pour into caring for our babies and we let our self care slip away.
Sleep is more important than the laundry pile, the dishes in the sink, the dust on the floor, scrolling Facebook and Instagram, or losing that baby weight.
Sleep is essential.
So, how do the best you can to get the most sleep you can
Well, here are some things that have helped me:
- Practice good sleep hygiene. This can mean, no screens before bed, maybe incorporate a soothing cup of tea before bed (I drink Sleepytime or Chamomile tea each night as I wind down), use a white noise machine, limiting sugars and caffeine at the end of your day.
- Do yoga or meditation as part of your bedtime routine.
- Go to sleep as soon as you can. Do not stay up to your “pre kid” bedtime. Go to sleep when your baby does. You don’t know when the next time they will wake up.
- If you are nursing, after your milk supply is established (after about two months), start pumping during the day so you can have your partner bottle feed your baby one feed in the middle of the night. This can allow you to skip one feed and, potentially, get a couple more hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- Honor your body and how you are feeling. If you are exhausted and could benefit from a rest mid-day, do it if you are able. Go lay in your bed, in darkness (without screens) and see if you can get a little shut eye.
Here are a few resources that I’ve come across recently that may help:
If you are struggling getting your newborn to sleep: Listen to this podcast about the newborn calming reflex.
If you are looking for ways to calm your mind so you can sleep: This is my favorite bedtime yoga video.