The newborn stage is no joke! I feel like I lucked out a lot with Elliott, since she’s been sleeping really well from the beginning and has only had a couple of rough nights, but it’s still exhausting waking up once or twice every night. I actually found myself wondering the other day why I was so tired, because Elliott had only woken up once the night before. And then I remembered that interrupted sleep is still interrupted sleep and it’s tiring not getting a full nights sleep! While there isn’t a whole lot you can do about newborns waking up to eat, there are things you can do to make sure you are falling asleep quickly and getting the most rest possible every night.
- Go to bed EARLY
This one can be hard, because after the kids are asleep after a long day of no naps it’s tempting to just sit on the couch and veg out for a bit. But getting to bed early and having that extra 30ish minutes of sleep makes such a difference, and is worth it every time!
- Avoid screen time
There have been multiple studies on how screen time right before bed affects your sleep, and most of them concluded that it’s harder to fall asleep after you’ve been watching a screen. Instead of looking at your phone, try reading a book or writing in a journal to wind down right before bed.
- Have a clean-ish house
This one helps me a ton. If I go to sleep with a messy house, I sit there and stress about having to juggle dishes and breakfast at the same time, or about switching the laundry before we have to be somewhere, or tripping over toys in the middle of the night. Obviously, having a perfectly spotless house every night probably isn’t going to happen, but having at least one area (for me it’s the kitchen) taken care of can help me relax as I’m trying to fall asleep.
- Keep water and snacks close by
Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories, and I frequently feel starving when I’m nursing at night! I like to keep something bland like crackers or rice cakes on my night stand with a bottle of water so I can snack while I’m up nursing without having to get out of bed. It’s a lot easier for me to fall back asleep after eating something too!
- Invest in a good mattress
We were gifted a mattress from Jared’s parents when we got married, and it definitely served us well but I was so excited to try this memory foam hybrid mattress from Tomorrow Sleep! This mattress is special because it helps keep your body temperature cooler at night (perfect while living in this crazy heat) and really helped with my postpartum back and body aches. I’ve noticed that I fall asleep much faster at night and after feedings, and Jared doesn’t wake up anymore because he can’t feel me moving around when I’m nursing Elliott. I like knowing that we are both comfortable and getting the rest we need so we can be more functional human beings in the morning. We have been using the sleep tracker included in the tomorrow sleep system and it’s really fun seeing our different sleep statistics from the previous night. You can use code CASEY100 for $100 off your order of $500 or more!
Some other things to try:
Lavender essential oil – we love diffusing this at night, it really does soothe and help us relax!
Body pillow – Jared calls my body pillow “the great barrier” but I sleep so much better when I use pillows to prop everything up. Using a body pillow has actually helped my back pain tremendously too!
Cooler temps – we’re cheap when it comes to paying for utilities, but we prefer to keep our room cooler at night with fans and A/C and sleeping with a heavy comforter…something about the weight makes me feel more relaxed. Kind of like swaddling a baby!
Hope these are helpful tips for y’all! I’ll try pretty much anything to get more sleep at night, and these are all tried and true tactics in my book 🙂 happy sleeping!