Tips to help combat insomnia in new moms

By Drum Digital
11 August 2014

Having a baby affects all areas of your life - socialising, shopping and especially sleeping. It might feel like you'll never sleep again, but there are ways to deal with what is known as 'momsomnia'.

Having a baby affects all areas of your life - socialising, shopping and especially sleeping. It's near impossible to get a full night's sleep when there's a newborn in the room screaming their lungs out, and as the years go on there are other reasons such as your child having a nightmare or wetting the bed. Yep - moms have it tough. It might feel like you'll never sleep again, but there are ways to deal with what is known as 'momsomnia'.

Website The Stir spoke with expert Dr. Ronald Kotler, author of 365 Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep and medical director of the Pennsylvania Hospital Sleep Disorders Center. He believes women are wired to become light sleepers following the birth of their child in order to be awake enough to hear them cry throughout the night. He also understands that moms find it hard to leave that phase behind.

  1. First, he recommends making sure the bedroom is adequate for some shut eye. Is it dark enough? Is the temperate spot on so you don't wake up sweating or shivering? Having a comfortable pillow and mattress is also a big part of nodding off, as you want your body to feel completely relaxed when you get into bed. While some people may think a nightcap is the answer to a soundless night's sleep, this isn't the case. Avoid alcohol and coffee too near to your bed time as it'll only keep you up longer.
  2. A paediatrician can also help you as well as your baby. Speak to an expert to see if they can help sync yours and your baby's sleeping patterns, and it's bound to pay off in the long run.
  3. If there are other symptoms alongside your insomnia, you may want to seriously consider whether there is something more serious wrong. Moms are more prone to depression after they give birth, and anxiety, which could last for longer than you care for it to. Look into the signs of these conditions and familiarise yourself with them, seeking help if you think they match.
  4. Leaning on a partner may be beneficial in getting back into a regular sleeping pattern. You're going to go to bed panicking about not sleeping, worrying about the baby or seven-year-old waking up, so ask your other half for some words of comfort. Little things such as 'Close your eyes' could help soothe you and make sleep come much easier, or even just a bit of a cuddle while you're snuggled up in bed. Make sure the task of tending to the little one is shared too, rather than it all coming down to you.

- Cover Media

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