New Mothers: Five Tips for Coping with Sleep Deprivation
By: Salena Kulkarni
Every mother knows this: a new baby signals long and sleepless nights. The good news is that after a month or so, your baby will learn to sleep on his own and to sleep through the night. In the meantime, you need to learn a few basics to survive that first month or so where a good night's sleep is a luxury.
More experienced mothers learned how to get by with very little or no sleep and now share the following helpful tips for you to try:
Get as much help as you can.
Don't refuse an offer by someone else to help you out at home. This is not the time to do it all on your own. Your significant other, your mom or sisters, and even close friends, understand your situation more than you think they do.
If you ask for help, the closest persons in your life will most likely be more than willing to take over watching your baby while you grab a few minutes or an hour of sleep. Visitors usually come over bringing gifts of food. Welcome that gift into your dining table instead of spending time fixing dinner for everyone.
Your husband can easily load up the washer and dryer or clean up some areas of your home for you. Your baby's new grandmother will also be thrilled to feed him his bottle or watch him play in his crib while you take a nap. The same goes for your sister or your best friend.
Sleep when your baby is asleep.
Take the cue from your baby. Most mothers survive the late nights by sleeping whenever their babies fall asleep. Resist the urge to catch up on household chores or other things to do around the house while your baby is asleep. By the time you would have finished doing those chores, your little bundle may already be awake and ready to make his demands felt.
Try meditation. Meditation as a relaxation technique involves certain postures and breathing exercises that induce the mind to get into a relaxed state while one is very much awake. Shorter hours of sleep can make you feel lousy and cranky during the day. Meditation before sleeping may improve the quality of your sleep so that you may wake up feeling refreshed. You can learn how to meditate from a trained and certified instructor or from a good meditation CD. You can also meditate at any time and at any place.
Eat the right kinds of food.
Pick what you eat. A diet high in protein, fiber and essential vitamins are important to increase your energy levels naturally. Remember to load up on high protein foods, at the start of the day. Avoid sugary food and drinks; they can increase you energy level very suddenly and leave you feeling more tired after the sugar wears off.
The same holds true for coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Drink water instead. Water helps your body eliminate toxins in the stomach while keeping the other parts of your body working. A clean and healthy digestive system also helps you manage your low energy levels during the day.
Room in with your baby.
This is only a temporary measure as your baby should be able to sleep on his or her own soon. While your baby is still very young, it is best to move your baby's crib or sleeping quarters beside your bed to keep yourself from walking far every time your baby calls out to you. That way, you can easily go back to sleep after attending to your baby.
Salena Kulkarni is the creator of the 'Secrets of Extraordinary New Moms' program, which helps new moms feel energized, get back in shape, eliminate emotional overwhelm, and experience fulfillment in 30 days or less! Visit www.NewMommyMentor.com to get your FREE audio now.
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