10 Tips to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
Has your little one taken over your sleep schedule? The answer is probably yes and of course, any new parents could use a couple of extra sleep hours. Therefore to help reduce the fatigue and get the most of those precious limited hours, here are some tactics to introduce into your daily habits:
1) Synchronise sleep. Time is slipping through your hands, you can’t seem to have a grasp on it, and the relation between time and activities to perform is a struggle when a newborn is in the picture. Learn to slow down and let go of unnecessary tasks, instead, increase your rest amount and sleep whenever your baby sleeps. Sleep is linked to emotional and physical health, don’t take it for granted.
2) Quit your smartphone. Smartphones and other electronic devices emit blue light, which is harmful because the “exposure to light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, and there’s some experimental evidence that lower melatonin levels might be linked to cancer” (Harvard University, 2018). The circadian rhythm is our internal clock that is in charge of our sleep cycles, therefore try to avoid using it before bedtime.
3) Accept help. Having a baby is hard work, harder than anyone seems to admit, don’t hesitate to ask for help from close family members or friends. A couple of hours of sleep with the tranquility that your baby is in good hands might be what you need to get you through the end of the week. It is fact that parents are inevitably sleep deprived, so don’t feel ashamed to accept help.
4) Sleep hygiene. Take the time to enjoy a relaxing warm bath, it will help you to wind down after a day of rushing. The more you clean your pjs and bed sheets, the more you will feel comfortable for sleep. The accumulation of dead skin-cells and dirt can increase your discomfort when sleeping. You should try to avoid letting dirt build up as they can also cause respiratory diseases.
5) Cut the toxic ingest. Your diet not only influences your lactation, but also your sleep cycle. It is recommended to reduce the consumption of nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. Even when you are awake, it’s better to avoid toxic substances as they affect your circadian rhythm. But we also know that a glass of wine can help you to fall asleep quicker, so we let the decision lay in your hands.
6) Avoid alarm clocks. Your baby is already functoining like an alarm, and if you practice co-sharing then you are most likely awaken by your baby when they need you. Most alarm clocks now come with snooze bottoms which allows for another couple of minutes sleep, but remember that quality and quantity aren’t equal and it’s about your quantity rather than those extra 5 minutes. Let yourself sleep until your little one wakes you.
7) Environment. Design your bedroom exclusively for sleeping, remove any devices that might distract you from getting into bed - TVs, work documents, tablets, smartphones - and invest in great curtains to isolate the light and the temperature.
8) Meal portions. Poor nutrition worsens fatigue, nonetheless, take notice about your meal portions according to the time of the day. Start with a generous breakfast to boost energy, a regular lunch and a light dinner before bedtime for better sleep results.
9) Liquids. As if your baby is not giving you enough reasons to wake you up after midnight, then you won’t find it pleasant to have to take trips to the bathroom. Try to reduce the amount of fluids you drink about 2 hours before you plan to go to bed.
10) Early workout. Exercise is a great way to fight against fatigue, according to Harvard Medical School, 2018, “Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. But the workout must finish at least three hours before bed or work out earlier in the day."
Sleep is the one of the things that contributes greatly to our physical and emotional health. Remember that sleep deprivation cannot last forever and will time you will be sleeping more often and for longer. What tips would you suggest for a tired new mum?
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