Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

A Mum’s Guide To Getting More Sleep

Whether you’re a first-time mother or a mum-of-three, getting adequate sleep can be a real challenge. 

For starters, a myriad of thoughts can swirl through your head as you drift off to sleep.

“Did I turn off the oven?”, “Are the plants adequately watered”, “Is junior sleeping soundly?”

And before you know it, it’s 3 AM. and you’re still wide awake.

If this sounds familiar, don’t despair. You’re not alone. Over 60% of new mothers experience some form of insomnia during the first two years of a child’s birth.

Regardless, getting a good amount of sleep is crucial for your overall health. Not only does it help you concentrate better, but it gives you the much-needed energy to take on the day.

Here are six tips to help you sleep better at night.

1 – Steer clear from the coffee

While a good cup of iced coffee can perk you up during those long afternoons, don’t rely on it too much.

Caffeine is a stimulant that’s a major contributor to sleep deprivation. Frequent coffee intake can also boost anxiety and blood pressure because they induce cortisol, the “fight-or-flight” hormone.

So if you’re finding it hard to sleep at night, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, and soda beyond 3:00 PM. Your refreshed, glowing body will thank you in the long run!

2 – Lay off the work emails

Received a new email notification from your colleague in the dead of night?

Sure, it’s tempting to reply right away. But resist the urge!

For one, checking work email can increase stress levels and make it harder to fall asleep. Secondly, it sets a precedent that your employees can contact you outside of work hours, leading to even more sleepless nights.

So unless it’s an emergency, leave the work email for tomorrow. If you don’t want your recipient to be left in the dark, you may set up an automated response letting people know you’ll be unavailable until a certain time.

3 – Invest in a sleeping aid

While most mothers would blame their sleepless nights on a fussy baby or a hectic schedule, some mothers have physical conditions that make it difficult to sleep.

For instance, many new mothers suffer from a condition known as sleep apnea. This is a disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. As a result, you may wake up feeling exhausted even if you’ve had a full night’s rest.

Don’t feel frustrated if you think you have sleep apnea. There are many sleeping aids like a CPAP machine for mums that can help sleep apnea sufferers sleep more soundly.

Lastly, If you’re having trouble sleeping, you can consider using an eye mask to help block out any light that may be disrupting your sleep.

4 – Minimise light exposure at night

Whether you’re watching television or scrolling through your Facebook feed, exposure to bright screens can prevent you from falling asleep.

This is because the blue light emitted from these screens suppresses melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy.

To avoid this, dim the lights in your room a few hours before bedtime and try to avoid using any electronic devices for at least 30 minutes before going to sleep. You may also use a sleep mask to cover your eyes and block out any unwanted light.

5 – Establish a bedtime routine

When you establish an exercise routine, chances are, you’re more likely to stick with it. The same goes for sleep.

By setting a regular bedtime and waking up at the same time each day, you train your body to get sleepy at a certain time. This way, when your head hits the pillow, you’re more likely to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

Each person’s bedtime routine is different. Here are some things you can include in your routine:

  • take a warm bath
  • read a book
  • do some light stretching

Find a routine that works for you and stick to it every night. Doing so will help your body relax and prepare for a good night’s rest.

6 – Let the kids do the chores

Let’s face it, a lot of the things that keep a mother’s mind racing at night have to do with the chores around the house.

The dishes need to be washed, the laundry needs to be done, and the floors need to be swept. The list seems endless, and it doesn’t have any signs of slowing down anytime soon.

One way to ease your load is to delegate some of the chores to your kids. Of course, this doesn’t mean making them do everything on their own. But by teaching them how to do some of the simpler tasks, you can free up some time for yourself.

And who knows? They might even enjoy helping out around the house.

Not only will this give you a much-needed break, but it will also teach your children a sense of responsibility. A win-win!