Any mom will tell you that in addition to sanity, one of the first things to go is consistent and quality sleep. Sure that’s to be expected in the first few months, but once the baby starts sleeping through the night, shouldn’t you be able to again?
Unfortunately, many women have issues with sleep. I’ve spoken to a few people about this and I find that insomnia issues, especially among parents, are way more common among women than men. I am one of them. Though not every night, there is usually one or two nights a week that I toss and turn for hours before finally succumbing to sleep. I’ve dealt with this on and off my whole life, but it has increased since having a baby. It can have an impact on if I can function for a morning workout, be productive at the office and show patience and ease after work with my son before his bedtime.
The most common reason, for me and many people I know, is that the mind starts to race when it’s quiet. It’s the opportunity to tick through that never-ending to-do list and, ultimately, get freaked out about how long it is or how we’re failing to get anything of value done.
Any website on this issue will run through a similar list of tips and tricks to help combat insomnia. No electronics of any kind for one hour before bed, take a bath, use white noise, try deep breathing, etc. These are all great tips, but it’s important to realize that there is no one size fits all approach to combating sleep issues. For example, I usually find it easier to fall asleep to the TV or music. It’s the silence that, for me, is a breeding ground for all the mental noise to seep through. This, combined with deep breathing, usually allows me to fall asleep within 15 minutes.
Though not always.
On nights I’m finding sleep particularly challenging, I’ll try to write down all of the thoughts that are preventing me from glorious slumber. If THAT doesn’t work, I’ll drag myself out of bed and take a warm shower. Usually by that point it’s pretty late and I need that extra element of relaxation.
Look, sleep is a precious commodity for anyone – not just new or old moms. If you are a challenged sleeper, you’ll probably have a bit of trial and error before finding a routine that works for you.