Sleep deprivation is a common side effect of new motherhood. A colicky baby, discomfort and stress often disrupt sleep during this new phase. While there’s often little you can do to avoid being woken up in the middle of the night by an infant, poor sleep doesn’t have to be a staple of motherhood. With the proper preparation and steps, you can get the sleep your mind and body need in order to be the best mom you can be.
Eat more magnesium
Magnesium improves the sleep cycle in many ways. Not only does it support the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, it also helps muscles relax enough for you to drift off. Try eating magnesium-heavy snacks, like bananas and oatmeal, an hour before bed to reap the mineral’s sleep-related benefits.
Use pillows to your advantage
If soreness keeps you awake, invest in a more supportive pillow, but if long-term aches bother you, consider using pillows to switch up your sleeping positions. Try sleeping in the fetal position, knees pulled to chest and straddling a pillow, to alleviate back pain by aligning your spine. Alternatively, lie on your back and prop a pillow under your knees to neutralize your spine. These changes should help you wake up feeling energized and refreshed!
Turn off electronics
Electronics are the enemy of sleep. Not only do they tend to keep you too stimulated and stressed to fall asleep on time, the LED light from electronic screens can also seriously disrupt your sleep patterns. To maintain healthy circadian rhythms, be sure to turn your phone, television and computer off at least two hours before bed. Also consider installing adaptive light bulbs for the bedroom to cut back on LED exposure and keep your body on its natural schedule.
Say no to added responsibilities
Taking on too many commitments while learning how to be a mom can spread you very thin. It can sap your energy and stress you out, a combination that wreaks havoc on your mental health and sleep quality. Practice saying “no” to extra projects at work, unnecessary chores, or nights out that you just aren’t up for. While it’s important to maintain some semblance of your old life when adjusting to this new normal, be aware of when you’re taking on too much. This is a time when you should be focusing on yourself, your health and your new family.
In the end, it’s important to remember that sleep should be your priority in order to maintain a healthy mind and body as you adjust to this new life. Take these tips and adapt them to fit your new role as a mom so you have good enough health and energy to keep up with your baby.
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