Tiffany is a sleep-deprived mom to a teen, a toddler, and a newborn. You can catch her blogging over a cup of coffee at Lattes And Life. You can also find her Twitter feed @give_me_a_latte.
Moms of Newborns: Dealing with Sleep Deprivation
Having a newborn baby goes hand in hand with sleep deprivation. There’s just no way to avoid it. Some nights are better than others, but each night includes interrupted and lost sleep.
During the worst of the worst nights there may be no sleep at all. Baby may be going through a growth spurt, have her days and nights mixed up, teething, or sick. No matter the cause, she may just simply refuse to sleep at all one night. Obviously, that means no sleep for mom and dad either.
Sleep deprivation is a serious thing. Studies have shown that people who suffer chronic sleep deprivation actually operate at a level comparable to someone under the influence! Losing sleep definitely affects mental agility and response time, but it affects your mood as well! Go one too many nights on too little sleep and you’ll probably become a bit grouchy.
To cope with sleep deprivation, most parents reach for that mug of coffee or can of soda. Caffeine will do the trick, in the short term. If you’re looking for a little longer energy boost, try drinking water and eating a healthy snack with a good mix of carbs and protein. Any form of exercise can help as well, as it gets oxygen circulating and improves your mood.
My favorite way to deal with a rough night? I give myself permission to relax the next day. I don’t worry about my to-do list or the chores I “should” be doing. I just plop on the couch and relax when I’m not tending to the baby. I may even catch a nap if all goes well. If the weather is nice I may sit on the porch for some fresh air, or open a window. But I don’t push myself. I allow myself to recuperate and recover from the lack of sleep, instead of putting too much pressure on myself to be up to speed.
If you work outside the home this can be more difficult to accomplish. How about treating yourself to lunch the next day? Or stopping for take-out on the way home? Don’t worry about the household chores that evening. Instead, soak in a bubble bath or take in your favorite TV show. However you choose to do it, giving yourself permission to relax can go a long way towards easing the fallout from a sleepless night.
Stay tuned for Life with a Newborn next Thursday with Tiffany! In the meantime, you might enjoy reading Colic in Babies – Why Does Baby Cry?
Get more mom tips at Works for Me Wednesday.