Did you know that on average, new mother’s get less than 4 hours sleep a night? If you have a newborn and sleep is only a thing you can dream about since your babies arrival, we’re here to help. Neil Robinson, sleep expert at the world’s number one bed brand, Sealy UK, shares with us his 5 IDEAL tips for getting more sleep as a new new parent.
KEEP YOUR BABY CLOSE
For the first six months of their life, it is highly recommended that you keep your baby in the same room as you. Invest in a bedside crib, ideally with a mesh panel so your baby can see you. Specifically designed to allow you and your baby to sleep next to each other, these cribs are particularly useful if you are nursing, allowing you to feed without having to leave the comfort of your bed.
INTRODUCE A BEDTIME ROUTINE EARLY ON
With almost half of UK mums stating that a lack of sleep means they are frequently irritable and short-tempered, it can be helpful to introduce a loose bedtime routine. If you do this from an early stage it can help small babies to differentiate the difference between day and night. To accomplish this, buy black-out blinds for their bedrooms, keep lights throughout the house off or dimly lit, speak in low and quiet tones, and keep the same bedtime routine for your baby every day.
With more than half (65%) of mums with young children having their sleep disturbed on a regular basis, it is often tempting to have a ‘midnight snack’. However, too much refined sugar – found in processed foods or sweets – can in fact prevent you from sleeping well. Instead, try to pick foods containing high levels of sleep-inducing chemicals; serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin such as bananas, almonds and cherries, to help you drift off to a more relaxed sleep.
SAY NO TO CAFFEINE
We get it; the lure of caffeine is strong when you have small children. But however tempting it may be, indulging in your favourite coffee to help you stay alert during the day can have a negative impact on your sleep. Avoid drinking caffeine after mid-day and switch to drinks such as chamomile tea, or join your little one with a glass of milk – which is rich in sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan.
REMEMBER – SLEEPLESS NIGHTS WON’T LAST FOREVER
It may feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you are regularly woken up several times a night. During these tough months, focus on self-care, introducing a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself such as: a hot bubble bath, relaxing music and a good book. As well as this, confide in family and friends, as well as expressing any worries via parenting forums and websites. The main thing to remember is that you are not alone, so seek support when you need it.