My Top 5 Tips For Coping With Sleep Deprivation:
Mindfulness Mediation: I recently read a really interesting study (link below) that talked about how meditation can actually improve mental clarity as much as napping does! For sure it isn’t a long-term solution, but while adapting to life with a newborn this can be something that is easy fit in while feeding baby. There are so many wonderful apps that offer guided mediation, which is necessary for me, because I don’t usually know where to start! I really liked using Expectful and headspace while I was pregnant, I also found that it helped me cope with hyperemesis! Another benefit of increased mindfulness is an overall reduction in stress can help with mental clarity, which can be a struggle when sleep deprived!
During my conversations with clients and families I am often asked about mattress recommendations. Having the right sleep environment is not only critical for relaxation and successful meditation, but you need to be comfortable as well! What one family is looking for in a mattress, can be completely different then another family, we all have different needs and budget. I love this website from Consumer Advocate to help families choose a mattress that works perfectly for their needs!
Basic self-care: there is nothing quite like a shower to refresh and recharge a tired mama. It’s something I’m sure we all took for granted before this journey to parenthood! Better yet, getting out for a fresh haircut and style can also help give a boost of confidence.
Exercise: I know you are probably rolling your eyes right now, thinking…I can’t even keep my eyes open, let alone think of picking up a dumbbell! Seriously though, hear me out, this is one of the best things you can do! After the birth of my first baby I joined the beachbody community and I loved all of the positivity and motivation from other moms also struggling through sleep deprivation trying to squeeze in exercise. This was such a game changer for me, my mood improved, I was less stressed, and I wasn’t able to “feel” as tired as I was prior. I took things to a more extreme level after my boys were born and scheduled half marathons which forced me to stick to a routine. Not saying that’s necessary, but having an end goal can be very motivating! I loved how I felt after the endorphins of exercise and the confidence of working towards a goal! Even to set a goal of getting out to walk once a day can be so effective, find another mama friend to meet up with, that way you can combine a visit, hot coffee and a motion nap for your little one!
Call on your village, call your mom, call your friends: This was something that took me a long time to figure out. When you stop to think about it, there are so many people that would love to help you out with your little ones while you catch a break or some sleep! I know it is so hard to ask for help, but it does get easier. I know that when I ask for help, sometimes I get too excited to sleep, but just having some down time knowing that I have a break was also so restorative. Ask for help, you won’t regret it, and you will probably make someone else’s’ day because they get to spend time with your cute little one!
Have a gut check with yourself: This step can be the hardest. I work with so many mama’s that say “I would be less anxious if I could just sleep” or “My mood would be so much better if my baby would sleep through the night”. The truth is those feelings need to be explored. I am not saying that sleep deprivation doesn’t have a real impact on mood, but sometimes it can be hard to tell what came first, the chicken or the egg. Communicating with your partner, and doctor regularly can help determine if your struggles are sleep related, or something more. Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup, and your baby wants you to be the best version of you!