Being a mom is the greatest gift of life, but it can also be challenging, especially when it comes to a mother´s own needs and sleep. It´s OK to admit you may feel a little tired, when having a newborn or toddler in the house. Mothers work hard because they want to offer the best to their loved ones. And although child´s needs usually come first, it´s also crucial to pay attention to a mother´s own state of happiness and wellbeing. Below you will find 5 ways, how mothers can improve their sleep. Hopefully, you will find it useful if you are having trouble falling asleep, you are struggling with sleep or you feel really tired but can´t sleep.
1. Stay active
If you’re feeling tired, doing exercise might sound like the last thing you want to do. But regular exercise can actually help you to be more present and to feel more awake – giving you more energy to take care of your family.
Walking may be the easiest way to start. And you can align these walks with your child`s napping times, collecting steps while pushing the stroller, or even going to the shop. If your baby sleeps better indoors, you can have a chance to do a quick exercise at home. As a full-time mom, it´s important not to set yourself unrealistic goals, as this can bring up negative emotions such as disappointment, frustration, or feeling of a failure. Even if you work out as little as 10 minutes a day, benefits will soon start to show.
2. Improve your kid’s sleep
Starting from 3 months, babies will usually start to sleep longer at night. By 6 months, many of them sleep through much of the night. Studies have shown, kids who can fall asleep on their own may sleep longer. So, it´s important to set a consistent sleep schedule for your child and also to help them develop healthy sleep habits. This means, practicing sleep in their own bed and putting them to bed, and not constantly rocking while they are starting to show the first signs of drowsiness.
Toddlers, preschoolers, and teenagers may benefit from a kid’s weighted blanket. This is a blanket, specially designed to bodyweight 25-50 kg, imitating the soothe embrace and wrapping effect. Weighted blankets are proven to provide a deep and relaxing sleep by allowing your kids´ body to rest and wake up refreshed.
3. Make your bedroom the best place to rest
As a new mom, you may worry more about your baby`s well-being and sleeping environment, although it is important to also pay attention to surroundings of your own.
To prepare your bedroom for good night`s rest, you should:
- Block light sources and ensure a quiet space – close the windows, use the curtains and eliminate any noisy equipment.
- Check the room temperature – it depends whether you are a hot or a cold sleeper, but the perfect condition would be something about 15-22 degrees.
- Choose the right bedding, that will maximize your comfort – for example, Lyocell Sateen feels soft in contact with skin, can quickly wick excess moisture and keep the body relaxed during sleep, when compared to cotton.
- Prefer sustainable and organic options – as mothers, we also have to keep in mind the sustainability and safety of our surroundings. That´s why you should prefer allergy-free and non-down pillows and blankets, that are proven to be safe both for you and your baby.
- Use 1-2 pillows to comfort your body – in case you are a side sleeper, use another pillow to rest the upper arm to alleviate the pain in the shoulder or in the back and muscle soreness. Also, you can consider placing an extra pillow between the legs — this helps to align the spine.
4. Good sleep hygiene practices
Your sleep as a mother is affected both by your child´s and your own sleep hygiene. To take care of your brain and body, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule, as much as you can.
Also, it would be a good idea to take daytime naps with your baby, allowing your body to naturally adapt to this challenging baby-rhythm.
Limit your caffeine intake and do not consume caffeine after 2 PM. Avoid screen use late at night and while breastfeeding.
Take magnesium supplement – magnesium can relieve stress and tiredness. A good tip is to take half of the dosage in the morning and the other half just before bedtime – so it can support our body 24-7.
5. Be the best mom while taking care of yourself
To be the best mom to your children, you should really at first take care of yourself. This means asking for help if needed and taking time just for yourself every day and week.
A good way to reconnect to your body is by taking a quick breathing session, yoga, or meditation. For better sleep, use weighted blanket to reduce cortisol and pump serotonin.
Remember the magic of being the best mom is actually not being perfect and putting pressure on yourself, but staying yourself and trying to survive. Motherhood is the gift from life, a force of nature that gives you the superpower. So, enjoy it, by improving your sleep and by being better at being awake, every day.