10 Ways to Get More Sleep as a New Mum

Babies aren't the world’s greatest sleepers – making new mums so tired. Here's some advice for getting some well-deserved naps.

 

  1. Have a 20-30 minute nap

Having a short nap means that you don’t end up slipping into sleep inertia, where you feel groggy and disoriented. Sleeping longer will also lead to a whole new sleep cycle and could mean that you don’t sleep at bedtime.

 

  1. Exercise

It may be easier said than done, but getting out in the fresh air with your baby and exercising can help you to sleep better. But make sure you finish exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime or you’ll find it difficult to wind down.

 

  1. Turn down the baby monitor

New babies are active sleepers. Little snuffles and sighs are part of your baby’s sleep pattern. Being woken up by every whimper doesn’t do you or your baby any good. Instead try to only get up when you need to and they’re clearly in distress.

 

  1. Pump before bed

Express breast milk before bed so you and your partner can take turns in feeding your baby during the night. You could even feed in turns so one partner can get a good night’s sleep.

 

  1. Keep away from caffeine and alcohol

Stay away from anything containing caffeine and alcohol, especially in the late afternoon and evening. It can affect how easy it is for you to sleep, and reduce the quality of your rest when you do get to sleep. And yes, things like chocolate also count.

 

  1. Keep your bedroom cool and calm

Keep distractions such as television and other technology, like phones and laptops, from the bedroom. Keep it as a sanctuary for sleeping and relaxing with your partner. Block out any unnecessary noise and light. Keep the room at a low but comfortable temperature as the cooler you are the more likely you are to sleep well.

 

  1. Eat little and often

Small, frequent meals will keep you energised, but also allow you to fall asleep comfortably. Go for high-carbohydrate meals before bedtime like rice, bread or bananas. These will help you to drift off. And avoid spicy foods if possible. They’re linked with sleep disruption, especially when eaten in the evening.

 

  1. Try a rocking cradle

Place it by your bed so when your baby cries you can gently rock them back to sleep without having to get out of bed, or even wake up fully!

 

  1. Try to only sleep in your bed

Falling asleep on the sofa or in baby’s room is very easy to do. But your body should learn to only associate sleep with your bed, especially if you’re exhausted. Be strict with yourself and try to keep to a routine. Taking a bath before bedtime can help you calm down before you get into bed.

 

  1. Don’t force yourself to sleep

If you’re unable to fall asleep, get up after 30 minutes and try to do something relaxing. If worries are getting you down, then write down what’s keeping you awake. Your mind will find it easier to let go of thoughts if you know you’ll remember to deal with them in the morning.

 

Just given birth? Read about crying and how to deal with it.

 

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