Sleep Deprivation after Having a Baby

Sleep Deprivation after Having a Baby.

Most parents are unprepared for the reality of how much sleep changes after having a baby, especially how much a mother’s sleep is affected. The one thing a new mom can depend on is losing sleep. It typically begins in your third trimester, when finding a comfortable resting position is next to impossible. It only gets harder to sleep once the baby arrives and you no longer have any say as to when, or for how long, you’ll be able to get some shuteye. Sleep deprivation can last for several weeks, or even months, with some moms logging in only three to four hours per night. Realize that if you haven’t slept through the night in weeks or even months, your mind will be jumbled and your mood will often be sour. But, how much sleep do new moms need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 required sleep is no less than six, and no more than 11 hours of sleep per night.

New parents lose about two hours of sleep per night for the first five months after bringing home their baby. In the first year of their child’s life, parents sleep an average of just 5.1 hours per night. When these hours are compounded, the shocking result is that new moms lose the equivalent of at least one whole month of sleep in the first year after their baby is born.

So the question remains, how do you get more sleep as a new mom?
First, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you are trading off nights with your partner, or you ask Grandma to lend you a hand, assistance is invaluable while your body recovers from childbirth. Be clear with your helper that you need someone to help with the chores so that you can bond with the baby and get more rest. Sometimes visitors think they are helping by taking over baby snuggle duty, leaving Mom to handle the housework as well as act as hostess.

New moms shouldn’t try to be more productive during baby’s nap time. A 20- to 30-minute nap will refresh you without causing sleep inertia, that groggy, out-of-it feeling when you wake up. Most people, not just new moms, could benefit from a short afternoon nap. If your baby isn’t on a regular nap schedule, take advantage of offers of help from friends and relatives. Let your mother hold and entertain the baby while you crash for a while and if falling asleep doesn’t come easily then just lie down, even if you can’t sleep. Don’t stress if you can’t fall asleep, just lying down for a half hour can be very restorative. Furthermore, get off your feet, relax on the couch, and stay off the phone

Secondly, enlist help for night time feedings. One of the best ways to get a solid stretch of sleep is to have your husband or visitor work the night shift for you. It’s easier to turn feedings over to someone else if you’re bottle-feeding, but moms who are breastfeeding can introduce a bottle of breast milk early on so that someone else can provide relief in the middle of the night.

Another tip we recommend is to keep your baby close. Nursing moms can get a bassinet that attaches to the bed or sits next to it. When the baby begins to to stir and wake up, because the baby is close you can just pick him or her, nurse the baby, then put him or her back in the bassinet. Your feet never have to touch the floor.

Followed by this, you should also try to find snooze-inducing activities. For those moms who have trouble falling asleep even after a draining day of caring for a new baby, it might be tempting to decompress in front of a computer or television. But that may be counterproductive. The light from the computer or television can be very stimulating and keep you up. It has been proven that the radio can be the perfect sleep aid. For some moms who often have trouble going back to sleep after waking up to breastfeed, turning on the radio can be a sure fire sleep inducer. Lie there and listen to whatever amuses you, from the cricket and soccer scores from around the world, to music. It really does help a lot of mothers pass out.

It is also important to be choosy about guests. There are helpful visitors (mothers-in-law who make dinner for you and the family and change diapers), and aggravating visitors (co-workers who just want to gossip). In a 2003 study Wolfson directed on changes in sleep patterns in first-time mothers, she found that new mothers with less social support ironically slept more than those with a lot of social support. “When friends and family stop in to visit the new baby, women may feel obligated to entertain, prepare food, and keep people happy. Visitors who put high demands on you or expect the same level of effort and hospitality that you had before you became pregnant will only sap your energy. On the other hand, many people are more than happy to pitch in. When you have a guest who offers to help, let her!

Don’t rely on coffee. Although gulping down a cup of coffee first thing in the morning can give you the jolt you need to be alert, however, it has been said that overdoing it can mask your need for sleep, and may actually prevent you from falling asleep when you finally lie down.

It’s not all bad, realize that the sleepless nights won’t go on forever. Healthy babies usually settle into a routine in which they sleep for longer stretches at night (five or more hours) by 2 to 3 months of age. Almost all babies should be able to sleep through the night by the age of 6 months. The happy ending to the tale from the dark end of sleep deprivation is that eventually after the tough nights, your baby will have started sleeping through the night and so will you.

Help older children resolve their sleep issues

Help “older” children resolve their sleep issues

Sleep issues are generally related to “babies”’ however, sometimes older children experience them too.

There are plenty of older children (and adults for that matter!) who have trouble sleeping, and who could use a little help getting a good night’s sleep.

Some of the common sleep issues are sleep walking, apnea, wiggly legs or limbs and middle-of-the-night waking.

While dispelling the myth that sleep habits can’t be changed after a certain age, here are some tips for helping your not-so-little one, to develop some great sleep habits.

  • Wean caffeine. Although kids don’t usually, drink coffee, but there’s plenty of caffeine in soda and chocolate candy. If your child is sensitive, cut out caffeine sources after lunch.
  • Stick to a regular bedtime and wake time. “Most kids adapt easily if a bedtime is missed once a week, but more often and you’re asking for trouble,” says Dr. Becker.
  • Limit cell phones. A research from Wayne State University found that adults who were exposed to radiofrequency waves (similar to the ones emitted by cell phones) for three hours before bedtime had a shortened deepest-sleep stage—the time when the body repairs damaged cells. Be sure your child stops texting and talking on cell phones, early in the evening.
  • Skip scary movies. They’re not only arousing, they can lead to nightmares. Unsettling night time dreams also result from a child’s real fears, so open a dialogue (in the light of day) about anything troubling him.
  • Bedtime cues are helpful. End every day the same way: A bath, a snuggle or a book will come to signal “sleepy time”

Yoga helps you sleep better


Yoga isn’t just beneficial for improving core strength, flexibility, and stress levels; it can also help you sleep better—especially if you suffer from insomnia. Yoga can improve physical strength and flexibility, improve breathing, reduce stress and enhance mental focus. Regular yoga practice is known to cure several ailments, including insomnia or abnormal sleeping habits. It boosts relaxation and beats insomnia by soothing your mind and body before bed. Yoga helps unwind stress at the end of the day and get better sleep at night, it will calm and reset your entire body and mind to prepare you for ultimate relaxation.

When people who have insomnia perform yoga on a daily basis, they sleep for longer, fall asleep faster, and return to sleep more quickly if they wake up in the middle of the night. This is also true for older people who have insomnia —those who are 60 and older experience better sleep quality, sleep for longer, and feel better during the day when they perform regular yoga.

This benefit can be seen in all sorts of situations where people have trouble sleeping. For example, pregnant women who start a mindful yoga practice in their second trimester sleep better and wake up less often throughout the night, and cancer patients sleep better if they do yoga (90 percent of cancer patients experience insomnia symptoms while receiving treatment).

If you want to work yoga into your bedtime routine, it’s important to do the right kind. Some types of yoga can be energizing (like hot yoga and vigorous vinyasa flow), which won’t help you relax as well as restorative styles of yoga like hatha and nidra. Here are three poses that are ideal for preparing your body for sleep.

Legs Up the Wall: Lie on the ground on your back and put the back of your legs up a wall (keep your legs straight), so your body is in an L-shaped pose. Relax into the position, hold it for at least 30 seconds and focus on your breathing.

Lying Butterfly: Lie on the ground on your back. Press the bottoms of your feet against each other and let your knees fall out to the sides. You can put a pillow under your knees if this feels too strenuous.

Corpse Pose: Lie on the ground on your back with legs straight, arms by sides, and palms facing up. Breathe slowly, focusing on your inhales and exhales.

Research reports have proven to show that yoga practice can help to alleviate sleep problems. For a natural, drug-free way to promote restful sleep, try yoga for sweet dreams.

Sleeping tips for before going to bed

The perfect night sleep starts long before you get into bed

1. 6 hours before bed stop drinking caffeine

2. Finish eating dinner 2-3 hours before going to bed

3. Stop exercising 2 hours before going to bed

4. Stop working, studying and stressing at least 1 hour before going to bed

5. Turn off all electronics 1 hour before going to sleep, such as laptop, iPad, television, etc.

6. Don’t start any new activities an hour before going to bed, as getting into the mindset of going to bed actually helps you to actually fall asleep.

7. Have a cup of herbal tea, such as peppermint, lavender, chamomile, valerian, passion flower, lemon balm and magnolia tea. Herbal tea can help you relax before bedtime.

8. Read a book, meander you way through a favourite book before getting in bed to help power down from a hectic day.

9. Shower and brush your teeth an hour before going to bed. Getting into this routine teaches your body that whenever you shower and brush your teeth at night, sleep is sure to come soon.

10. Invest in a good mattress. All these strategies are null and void if you’re sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress! Your health depends on getting a good night’s rest, so you want to be sure that your mattress is up to the challenge

The ultimate guide to sleeping in a plane

There are those people who can sleep just about anywhere. If they want to, they can sleep, wherever they want, however they want.

While a few lucky folks can pass out easily upon take off, for most of us, quality in-flight sleep is a struggle. And that can lead to exhaustion and several nights of playing catch-up when you arrive at your final destination.

When boarding a plane, you have the purest of intentions: You’re going to use this rare empty stretch of time to catch up on much-needed sleep. You’ll land at your destination bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to take on the world!

But things aren’t ever that simple, are they? In reality, you end up doing all the things that keep you from floating into dreamland. Epically long flights, cramped seats, and loud passengers.
By the time you deplane, you’re tired and dishevelled.

Sleeping on a plane can be difficult but is often necessary for overnight flights. Luckily there are some ways to improve your flying experience and make sleeping during a flight much more pleasant.

Comfort on a plane starts with your seat. Is it in the aisle, window, exit row, close to the bathroom, or the bulkhead? A middle exit row seat isn’t even that bad since you can usually exit your seat without making anyone get up. Note that not all exit rows recline but I will take leg room over a reclining seat every time. However, mostly people to do tend to opt for the window seat.

Yes, it might make bathroom breaks more awkward, but having that window to lean against is way better than falling asleep on your neighbour’s shoulder. Every seat has its ups and downs and it is up for you to decide what you prefer.

Once you have found the perfect seat it is time to sleep on the plane. This starts at home and being prepared. An eye mask in the airflight has been proven to be extremely beneficial for many passengers and is essential because they always turn on those overhead lights when you’re trying to sleep. Airlines love to keep the lights on in the cabin for no reason and people in the window seats like to keep their window shades open the whole flight! When you need to get some rest it is a great way to block out the world around you.

Another handy carry on for your journey are earplugs. They block out the pilot, babies, loud talkers, and engine noise. This and the eye-mask should get the job done for most people. They can really be a lifesaver, and easy to carry. Another alternative for earplugs are the noise cancelling headphones. These headphones are a pretty common site these days on flights and for good reason. They do a great job blocking the cabin noise.

Additionally, make sure you wear your most comfy outfit. Put on the sweat pants! Let’s be honest, the cute outfit you put on when you got to the airport is no longer looking great and it’s definitely not going to look better after a 15 hour flight. Furthermore, most flights tend to be on the cold side which is nice when it is a full flight but bad when you are in shorts and a t-shirt. Some airlines that haven’t decided to completely make us hate them provide blankets for free but some do charge for the “luxury” of not being cold. So make sure to carry something warm for along the way.

Another thig to note is that, when you cross your legs, you clamp down on one side, which could restrict blood flow (and increase your chances of a blood clot if your flight is more than four hours). Because your lower half is slightly twisted either to the right or left (depending on which leg you crossed), and your upper body is still facing straight ahead, you add a small amount of additional stress to your lumbar. If you fall asleep that way, you’ll likely wake up at some point and immediately cross your legs the other way because you’re subconsciously trying to even out that twist. A better way to sit is to keep your legs straight, with a slight bend to your knees. You want to avoid any blood pooling in the lower part of your body.

Bring what you need with you to lay back, snooze off and enjoy the flight. So if you struggle to sleep while flying, don’t fret. You’re not the only one! But there is still hope.