Some people can sleep through an earthquake. Some snooze soundly while a thunderstorm roars overhead. Still, others find it super simple to shut their eyes and catch forty winks virtually anywhere, at any time. Many of these same people can’t fall asleep when a baby’s in the house, no matter what they do or try. It’s for new parents that we present the following solutions for exhausted moms and tired dads. The rest of you might as well read along, because we can all use a better night’s sleep.
Catching winks when you can
Although newborn babies require a tremendous amount of sleep over the course of a 24-hour period, they rarely take it all at once. That’s why it’s imperative that sleepy new moms and tired new dads find ways to grab restful zzz whenever they are able. Fortunately, there are plentiful tricks new parents can try that may help them in this endeavor. The National Health Service in the UK advises parents of babies to sleep -and do nothing else- whenever the little one snoozes. Yes, it may be tempting to use baby’s nap time to clean house, wash the car or do a bit of gardening, but none of those projects is as crucial to one’s physical and mental health as restful sleep.
The NHS also recommends that new dads and moms participate in at least a few minutes of healthful exercise every day. Even if it’s not much more than popping baby in a stroller and taking them for a walk around the block, a bit of exercise can help new parents -and anyone- sleep deeper and better at night.
More tricks and tips to help new parents sleep
Sleep experts in numerous disciplines agree on several different principles of sleep. Go to bed at the same time every night, if you can. For new parents, this can be a challenge but do aim for a regular bedtime. Establish a bedtime ritual and stick with it as often as you can. A warm bath, a cozy cup of tea and soft music help many people fall asleep happily. Try an Android app such as Alarm Clock for Me to play soft music as you fall asleep. The app can wake you with your favorite morning music, too.
How important is sleep, anyway?
In a word, very. The National Institutes of Health states that human adults require a certain amount of sleep each night, and trying to get by with less can be detrimental to one’s health. Natural sleep generally begins in a light phase called NREM. Once asleep, the brain cycles through this and REM phases throughout the night. Typically, adults are easier to wake during the lighter, non-dreaming NREM phase of the sleep cycle.
If you’re a new parent who feels like they’ll never have a decent night’s sleep again, try a few of the aforementioned methods that may help you sleep faster and better.
Abbie Dixon is a Mom who has a job in a sleep clinic meaning she has learned all about the sleep cycles we go through – Which go haywire with a baby in the house! She writes about a range of lifestyle topics.