I started sleep coaching friends of friends with the intention to help parents (especially moms) teach their children to sleep…so they could sleep too. Because let’s face it, an exhausted and worn out version of you isn’t the best parent you can be. I decided to figure out how to get mom more sleep too.
My career has grown, and I’m on a mission to help 1 million families find sleep. You may be wondering what this has to do with you, mom. It’s actually all about you. And not just this weekend! When your children don’t sleep, neither do you.
And for many of us moms we didn’t sleep well during our pregnancy either! For some, sleeping becomes a myth long before your infant wakes you every 2-3 hours (or more) to eat.
This Mother’s Day, I Want To Help You Repay Your Sleep Debt
You may be surprised to learn that the National Sleep Foundation published findings that the average adult sleeps less than 7 hours a night. This is well below the average recommendation of 7-10 hours.
This means that you could be losing between 1 and 3 hours each night (if not more)! Add to that the findings of Dr. William C. Dement, a physician and sleep specialist, parents of newborns often lose about two hours of sleep per night until the baby is 5 months old. From then until their child hits 2 years old, parents usually lose an hour of sleep each night.
This is backed up by research done by Ergoflex, which found that the average new parent loses 2.9 hours of sleep per night. That equals a sleep loss of 20.3 hours per week, making up a total of 1,055.6 hours lost in the first year of your child’s life – equivalent to 44 days.
That’s a lot of lost sleep, moms! It’s time that we did something about it, don’t you think?
Beyond sleep coaching, there are a few things that you can do to help encourage restful sleep, starting today. Use these 8 tips to help you get more sleep:
- Avoid screens (even your smart phone) at least 60 minutes before bed
- Stop checking your email after dinner
- Split the night with your partner so that you each get at least 5 solid hours of sleep
- Begin a relaxing pre-bed ritual, such as reading a book, taking a bath, or meditating
- If you live in part of the world where it’s light quite late, consider purchasing blackout curtains to help your body’s circadian rhythm encourage sleep naturally
- Dim your lights a few hours before bed, turning off any lighting sources that are unnecessary
- If you live in a noisy neighborhood, consider using a fan or white noise machine to help block out disruptive sounds
- Lower the temperature in your house at night. Studies have found that ideal sleep temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees
Even if you do all of these things, you may not be able to fall asleep. Think about this: your body will tell you when you are tired. You begin to lose track of time, start yawning…but many of us will “push through” because it “feels” too early.
Those are all signs that your body’s getting ready for rest. Listen to those instincts! Some parents have found that they are ready for bed as soon as they put their children down. That’s okay, because you might need to catch up on your sleep for a while!
Remember, we’re working with a sleep deficit. When you feel tired, listen to your body and head to bed. It takes the average person 20 minutes to fall asleep, so if you toss and turn, it’s okay to get back up and try again later. Even allowing your body some rest time can be helpful to encouraging quality sleep.