How Sleep-Deprived Parents Can Get More Sleep
The daily hustle and bustle of parent can trigger insomnia and sleeping problems.
No wonder so many parents feel like they have to battle for just a few hours of valuable rest.
If you’re a parent struggling to get enough sleep, here are some tips to help you catch some blissful zzz’s.
Improve your bedtime habits
After a long day of school dropoffs, dinners and homework, it can be tempting to indulge in “the don’ts” like binge-watching TV series, scrolling through social media, or coping with stress with loads of caffeine and fast food.
Studies have shown that too much screen time (due to the blue light emission) suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin responsible for a peaceful and quality sleep.
Too much caffeine is also linked to sleep deprivation and restlessness, as it blocks the receptors that enable a good night’s sleep. Small changes, like switching from coffee to fresh juices, or reading a book instead of your phone, can make a massive difference for your sleep duration and quality.
Practice sleep-inducing activities
Having the right mindset is crucial for a restful sleep. Do anything that relaxes you and lowers stress, like having a nice hot bath, listening to your favorite music, meditation, or even doing light physical activity like yoga.
Do this not only as a part of the nighttime routine but also during the day, as it is vital to keep your spirits up and do things that stimulate your brain, like working on a hobby, expanding knowledge, etc.
Fall in love with power naps
Cat naps are by no means a replacement for 7-9 hours of nightly sleep, they can certainly aid you in overcoming dizziness and yawning throughout the day.
The sleep experts at Bedroom Critic state that just 20 minutes of uninterrupted snoozing sessions can improve alertness and boost your mood.
Divide the work if you can
While (unfortunately) no one can replace the miracle of lactation at 3.00 am, many things that mothers cling to in the beginning can be done by helpful family members and friends.
If you have a partner, consider dividing obligations to establish a somewhat reliable schedule. This can heavily improve your sleep regimen as well as those of your children.
Don’t be scared to use the perks of technology. The tablet can be a powerful tool when used strategically. White noise machines and timers can be super-helpful as well.
Consult a physician or sleep expert
Sleep deprivation is to be expected for busy parents, but chronic insomnia or lack of sleep may trigger health problems in the long run.
If you're really struggling to sleep well for more than a few weeks, consulting a professional may be critical to solving the problem.
There are non-habit forming treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy, which has been shown to be very effective for parents grappling with sleeplessness.
Just know that the sooner you decide to tackle the sleeping issue, the less likely it is to escalate into more serious health issues.