Each parenting phase comes with a unique set of challenges. And the one which takes the cake in that arena is “Sleep deprivation”. You can’t understand the depth of sleep deprivation until and unless you are a parent. It is not the matter of one or two bad nights, it is the matter of series of sleepless nights. So, to help you cope up with the roughest bits of sleeplessness and to keep your health, brain and mood relatively intact, here are a few sleep deprivation coping strategies.
Take care of yourself:
When you are a parent, it is quite common that you push yourself to the last of your priority list. But one of the secrets to function effectively even with less sleep is having a healthy breakfast and drinking plenty of water. Research shows that including whole grains, proteins, and possibly fruits in your breakfast assists your body and helps you get productive. In addition to that, studies also show that adequate hydration is a must for the body to work efficaciously. It also affects cognitive ability and energy levels.
Have a strategy with your partner:
A widely experienced and universally accepted fact is that a mom wakes up at even the slightest sigh that the baby makes and be wide awake in the anticipation of next feeding while dad gets peaceful sleep throughout the night, even though a full-scale baby screamfest. Furthermore, in most of the parenting partnerships, the nighttime parenting responsibility is not shared equally between the couple. So, instead of expressing displeasure and keep mumbling about who is taking care of the baby and who is not, plan a strategy that works for both of you. For instance, one of the partners could go to bed as early as possible while the other takes care of the baby till late night.
Sleep while your baby sleeps:
Mommies are accustomed to having a list of to-do when the baby sleeps: House cleaning, dishes, laundry, phone calls, online bill payments, reading or writing and more. Instead, try making sleep and rest a priority. Get on a bed and snooze while your little one is conked out or do some activities that would make you feel relaxed. After all, it is the time to keep your life simple and conserve your energy for the things that matter the most.
Get some sunlight and fresh air:
If you are up and your baby is up, pop her in a baby carrier or a stroller and get some fresh air and the sunshine. Exposure to fresh air and sunlight makes you more alert. Your internal clock regulates on exposure to sunlight and helps your brain believe that it should be up and active even when it is sleep-deprived and tired.
Coffee - A saviour:
Coffee is widely known for its ability to kickstart your brain even when it is tired or sleep-deprived. So, a shot of morning espresso or a small cup of coffee could definitely be your saviour in making your brain work adequately.
Sleep train your baby:
For your good night’s sleep, train your baby to have a good night sleep. Sleep training doesn’t necessarily mean endless tears. There are various methods out there from which you can choose which is appropriate for you depending on your tolerance for your baby’s tears.
First few weeks after your delivery could be ecstatic, overwhelming and exhausting. Along with recovering from the delivery, you have loads of other works to do related to your baby. So, any help from friends and family or even hiring a help could be a lifesaver.
Accept as it is:
No matter how tired you are and how badly you need sleep, your baby is programmed to wake up in the night. It is the nature. So, instead of feeling subdued and pondering about why your baby doesn’t sleep all night, accept each night as it comes and deal with it without expectations. This would save you from pressurizing yourself to get on a schedule.