Sleep, one sweet word that you and I can hardly get enough. Rich or poor, whatever’s our walk in life, everybody gets the same number of hours. But for moms like us, 24 hours is simply not enough. Having even just a baby is one too many. Caring for a newborn is much more time-consuming than a full-time job. It can drain you of your time, energy and even sanity.
In between breastfeeding, diaper changes, and whatnot, we hardly have time to bathe or to gather our wits together. Between those moments when you simply stare at the blank space, trying to recall what we are supposed to remember, we became the shell of our usual bright selves. You might think that you are doomed, but guess what; you just need some shut eye. Not just a nap, mind you! What you need is a good quality slumber. How, you might ask?
You might think that putting your baby on a separate nursery is the right thing to do. All of us have our opinions about bed-sharing. I will not impose my views, but it is co-sleeping that has worked for my family. Sleepwalking into the nursery in the middle of the night is like dragging yourself with 20 pounds of shackles tied to your feet. It is no joke; it’s difficult.
If I am to give just advice, save yourself some precious shut-eye time by co-sleeping with your little one. If you are afraid that you or your hubby can suffocate your little buddy while sleeping on the big bed, then better buy a co-sleeper. This item is the next best thing to a crib and a bed. A co-sleeper will enable you to have your baby sleep within your arm’s reach, without exposing him to the perils of your smothering pillows and thick sheets.
- Limit screen time
Want to catch the latest buzz on your social media feed? Do it at dinner but not at bedtime. If you want to find some good zzz’s, limit screen time to two hours before your shut eye. That means that if you are expecting to sleep soundly come 9 pm, your last TV, cell phone or computer viewing must be no later than 7 pm.
- Take out the lights
Even the smallest bright light peering down your bedroom door has an effect on your sleep quality. We humans sleep best when it is entirely dark. Perhaps you have no choice but to use a night light. If that’s the case, then mask the bulbs in red cellophane film. If you think that your room will be less cozy and look more like a horror movie, then just take out as much light as you can. Less is more.
- Drown out as much sound as possible
Sleeping in an entirely quiet bedroom is eerie. On the other hand, too much background noise can backfire and not give you a decent shut-eye. Tone down the noise by choosing electronic appliances that are designed to be quiet. The buzzing and humming from that air conditioning unit, fan or humidifier can distract your sleep. It will also help if you can put your mobile phone and landline out of the bedroom.
If you are a working mom like me, chances are there are times when you just can’t fight that weary feeling. Take some power naps during your lunch or break time. Try catching some naps in a quiet room or perhaps in your car. You’ll be refreshed and more productive even with just a 20 or 30 hour of downtime.
Being a mother has made us conquer tasks and slay fears fit for a superwoman. Notwithstanding that feat, we are just humans. You need a reset. You need some sleep. Let the dishes go unwashed. Cut yourself some slack. Even the best sleep hack won’t work unless you close your eyes. Relax. Give yourself some rest. You’ve earned it. More than anyone, you deserved it.
A Short Bio: Sarah Morgan. A sister, a daughter, a wife, but most especially a mother. Being a mother makes me realize that life is a great adventure. No day is always the same, which makes every day so much more exciting.