Insomnia After Pregnancy: Learning to Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps

baby sleeping
The first time that your newborn baby falls asleep and your house becomes quiet is a magical, yet terrifying time. Newborns are notorious for having odd and unique sleeping schedules, which can wreck havoc on your own time to snooze.

Even with the help of your significant other, family, and friends, your sleep schedule may take months to years to return to normal after you have a baby.

Sleeping is a luxury that most moms long for after they have a newborn. Labor and delivery is tough, and taking a newborn child home isn’t any easier. Whenever you take your newborn home, sleep may be the last thing on your mind. Having a brand new baby at home is a happy and wondrous time, but eventually sleep will take over your mind.

Newborns often sleep for three hours at a time before they need to be woken up to eat. If a baby isn’t waking up on their own, then most pediatricians would recommend that moms and dads wake their little ones up to eat so that they can maintain their weights and grow properly.

With these constant nighttime awakenings, sleeping through the night can quickly become a thing of the past.

New moms may also struggle with insomnia and not be able to get back to sleep once they feed their precious newborn. Insomnia may occur due to the anxiety of being a new mom, or simply because of all of the emotions and feelings that come with having a brand new baby.

Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned pro, bringing a new baby home can be stressful. This stress can easily lead to sleepless nights and days, which can lead to even more stress.

If you are stressed out about your baby, then its likely you may have some nights that sleep just doesn’t happen. Here are a few tips to help you wind down and get back to sleep.

Take Away the Screens

Ipads, computers, and phones are the worst culprits whenever it comes to insomnia. The backlights on the screens can keep you awake for hours past your normal bedtime.

Whenever you look at a backlight screen for long periods of time, your brain thinks that you still want to be awake. In order to fall asleep, your brain must have total darkness.

The darkness allows natural melatonin to be released throughout your body and make you sleepy. If you constantly look at your phone in bed, then you aren’t allow your brain to release the necessary melatonin to make you sleepy.

Try removing all screens from your bedroom and don’t look at your phone or computer for extended periods of time for at least an hour before you fall asleep.

The darkness can help your circadian rhythms reset and help you kick your postpartum insomnia.

Wind Down with Calming Activities

If you are having trouble falling asleep at night because your mind won’t stop racing, then try a few calming activities before going to sleep. Drinking caffeine free tea and reading a book are two wonderful activities that can help calm you down and get to sleep.

Taking a bath, showering at night, or writing in a journal are also great activities that can help keep your mind at ease and help you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Forgo the Caffeine

Caffeine is satan’s brew whenever it comes to trying to fall asleep. If you are drinking caffeine throughout the day, then its time to cut your intake in order to try to sleep better.

Coffee in the morning or one soda per day can help you stay awake and alert throughout the day, but try to completely cut out caffeine past noon.

By reducing your caffeine content, you may initially notice you feel more fatigued throughout the day. However, you will soon get used to drinking less caffeine and will be able to keep your energy levels high by sleeping soundly at night.

Stop Ruminating

Ruminating is the exact opposite of what you should be doing at night. It may be hard to shut your mind off at night, but it is absolutely essential to shut your mind off at night in order to fall asleep quickly.

In order to stop worrying and thinking about everything that could go wrong, try thinking up a story that you can add to each night. A simple plot line will help lull you into a deep sleep as you think of all of your characters and storylines.

Create a Bedtime Routine

Bedtime routines are essential to help you wind down at night. Start your bedtime routine with your baby by bathing your baby and putting them to sleep. Then, once your newborn is snuggled into bed, you can start your own routine.

A good bedtime routine is one that encompasses relaxing events that will help you become sleepy. Baths are a great start to a wonderful bedtime routine.

Pick out your favorite bubble bath and put on some music in order to relax completely every night. Or, find a great book to delve into to help your mind stop racing and your body to relax.

Whatever you choose to do, just find a routine that fits you and your needs, and that won’t feel like work to do each night.

Consult an Expert

If lifestyle changes don’t help you fall asleep faster, then it may be time to consult a doctor. Your OB/GYN can help you find the right medications or the right natural supplements to help you fall sleep.

Sleeping is absolutely essential in order to keep you healthy and your baby healthy. If you aren’t sleeping, then you won’t be able to be the best mom to your new baby.

Sleep can help you become less stressed and can help you bounce back after labor and delivery. Try these tips first, and if sleep still eludes you, then consult your doctor.

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