PARENTING AND SLEEP DEPRIVATION: DO THEY GO HAND IN HAND?
Do you think parenting and sleep deprivation go hand in hand? Well, if you do, then you have gotten it all wrong!
The birth of a child is a thing to be celebrated in every household. No words can describe the amount of joy that the parents feel when they hold their little bundle of joy in their arms for the very first time. From baby’s room to the clothes…they have got it all planned out. What most new parents aren’t ready for, are the sleepless nights full of crying, feeding and diaper changing.
Every parent feels that they need to tend to the needs of their newborn as much as they can and they aren’t hesitant at all to compromise on their sleep for it. But, here is the truth. You have needs too and it’s better to look after them as well because if you are sleep deprived as a parent then this deprivation may be having a negative impact on your parenting skills without you even realizing it! Sleep deprivation will affect your ability to think clearly as a parent and that might end up causing you trouble. It may affect your ability to deal with your child patiently and also contribute to stress and depression. So, in order to keep those good parental skills rolling, you need to make some changes to include sleep in your schedule!
Get Your Partner to Help Out
It is extremely important that both partners do their share of duties and take care of the baby, or the kids, together. This ensures that both of them get enough sleep rather than any one of them being sleep deprived. Working together as team will help both parents in getting enough sleep to function properly the next day. For newborns, take turns to feed, change and comfort the baby during the night.
Accommodate Sleep During the Day
If you find it hard to get enough hours of sleep during the night, try taking naps during the day. If you have a newborn, you can match your child’s sleeping schedule with yours and take naps when your baby is sleeping too.
Eat Healthy and Exercise
Regardless of how busy your life gets with kids, always make time for yourself. Stick to a healthy diet and routine exercise. A healthy body equals a sound mind, and a sound mind equals peaceful sleep. You can even incorporate some exercise into the time you spend with your kids by playing their favorite sports with them.
No Caffeine, Smoking or Alcohol Before Bed
Make it a point to avoid any form of caffeinated drink, alcohol and smoking before bedtime. Parents who are under a lot of stress often find themselves going for coffee, alcohol or cigarettes to cope with stress. Instead of actually helping you, these things are major contributors to poor sleep and sleep deprivation.
Bedtime Routine Is a Must
Being a parent is no easy job. There always seem to be a thousand things on your mind at the same time. The kid’s school book, their soccer practice, what to make for lunch etc. that is why; many parents find it difficult to shut off their brain at night. You get in bed to get some sleep and when you shut your eyes, all you can think about is how will you be able to manage both work and your daughter’s ballet rehearsal on Tuesday! Well, the key to getting your brain to shut down at night is to follow a bedtime routine and don’t skip it. A bedtime routine can include taking a warm bath with one of your favorite essential oils, reading a book, brushing your teeth and your hair and then getting in bed. Once you get into the habit of following a specific bedtime routine, your brain will automatically start associating your bedtime routine with sleep and it will get easier for you to fall asleep without worrying about your kid’s future. Avoid activities that over stimulate your mind before bedtime, like watching the television or playing games with your kids on Xbox.
Parenting can get a little tough at times but in no way should it affect your sleep and keep you sleep-deprived. By following these simple yet effective tips, you can ensure a bump-free walk towards a much more relaxed, and sleep-satisfied parental journey ahead.