With the arrival of young children, it’s unlikely that anyone in your house will sleep “like a baby”: in fact, the average new parent gets only 5 hours of sleep per night. Following infancy, young children are prone to a range of sleep problems, including nightmares and wetting the bed, which can prolong sleep issues for your family. However, new parents can compensate for their lack of sleep. Developing a method for coping with sleep interruption will drastically reduce the extent to which it affects your daily routine.
Rethink Your Bedding
As a new parent, you want to conserve the precious hours of sleep you do get, so that your body benefits from extra REM cycles. To start, make sure your mattress is suited to your body: a bad or outworn mattress is among the top causes of sleep disturbances in the US. Sleeping on a puffy mattress, or a mattress that contains two layers of foam is recommended for adults with sleep disruption, as the mattress will quickly mold to the shape of your body. To save money on a puffy mattress, look for brands that offer a lifetime warranty and cooling thermal technology to help regulate your body temperature during periods of deep sleep.
Make Up For Lost Time
Part of what makes parenting so exhausting is the repeated disruption of your REM cycles over a period of several months. For instance, if you sleep for 8 hours, but wake up to feed your baby 2-3 times, that’s more disruptive to your body than if you slept for 5 hours straight. To compensate, give yourself a few extra hours of sleep on the weekends, or take a 20-minute power nap during the day. Be careful of binge-sleeping: sleeping for more than 1 hour during the day can make it harder for your body to adjust once it’s time for bed!
Essential oils have long been applauded as a natural way to promote sleep in newborns, but they can also help parents who struggle to unwind after a hectic day. Unlike conventional sleeping aids, which aren’t a good idea when you need to be up at a moment’s notice, soothing aromatherapy induces relaxation without chemically altering sleeping patterns. Look for essential oil options that boost calmness, such as lavender or chamomile oil, for optimal sleep.
Ultimately, making small, necessary adjustments to your sleeping method will help alleviate the burden of nighttime interruption from small children. By taking care of your body, you can stay calm and accomplished during the waking hours, when your family needs it the most.