Surviving Sleep Deprivation

Good sleep is one of the foundations of well-being. Deep sleep is our in-built stress recovery system, the way that our body recovers and restores. So this is one of the biggest challenges for post natal recovery, because some degree of sleep deprivation comes with the territory of having a baby.

Sleep can be one of hardest things to restore whilst you still have a baby/child waking at night (believe me I am the expert in this through my own personal experience!) It will get better eventually and for some parents that journey is longer that others. Until then it is damage limitation!

There are some simple things that you can do to make the ride a bit easier:
1. Go to bed as early as you can
It might seem crazy to be in bed at 7pm or earlier (yes this has been known), but you have to take your sleep where you can get it. It might be that you ‘don’t have an evening’ or ‘can’t get things done’ but sleep is more important. Remember it is temporary and it will get better.
2. Nap when you can
Sleep when your baby sleeps. Again, the drive might be to ‘get things done’ when your baby sleeps in the day, but none of that matters whilst you are not getting as much sleep as you need. Remember, it won’t be like this forever.
3. Limit visitors and doing too much

Too many visitors are a pain.  If your baby sleeps when they are there is prevents you from resting.  The same is true of being out of the house too much.  Yes, of course it is important to get out and about, form a support network, but aim to have 2 days a week where you are just at home, you can rest and get a few odd jobs done much more easily with a couple of days at home.

4. Limit screen time

This is especially important at night as the blue light from your phone or TV interferes with the sleep hormone melatonin.  Also our phones are incredibly addictive.  It can be super easy to reach for your phone and zone out rather than rest when you get the chance.

5. Make the most of the weekends

If your partner is home more over the weekend then make the most of this time to have a break, get some sleep, take a nice long bath, do something restorative for yourself.

6. Consider getting some support

There are many wonderful gentle sleep support consultants who can meet with you, understand you and your child’s sleep situation and give you some real practical advice to encourage better sleep.

Good sleep is SO important.  Without it our mood and health can really suffer.  So know that it will get better and try some of these tips to make it all a bit easier in the meantime.

If you have any other useful tips to add or ways that you coped then please share in the comments.