The Betterment Project

Nine Tips for Dealing With Parental Sleep Deprivation

We all know that sleep helps us recharge, but do we know why that is? Since we are not awake to pay attention to what our bodies are doing, automatic processes are taking place. 

 

While we sleep, tissues work to repair themselves, our growth hormones work their magic, and our brains and bodies naturally process information from the day so that they can restore themselves. Our memories even have a chance to rearrange themselves, which is crucial due to the amount of information we absorb in a day. 

 

If you have young children who sometimes make it difficult for you to get enough sleep, you’re not alone. Today, ASYSTEM is here to walk you through some strategies of getting a better night of rest. 

 

What Does Sleep Look Like During the Newborn Stage? 

In the beginning, newborns will need to eat every two hours, usually until they regain their birth weight. A newly born baby has such a small stomach that they need more frequent feedings to maintain a full belly. 

 

Especially if this is your first child, being woken up every two hours by your little one can come with a range of emotions. On the one hand, it is exciting that your baby is finally here in your arms, and hopefully healthy, while at the same time, new parents are not used to waking up every two hours to perform tasks that they have never done before. 

 

Below are tips on feeling supported as a parent, especially during the first year. Some may be geared more towards the earlier stages of a child’s life. Because let’s face it, multiple sleep regressions take place in the first few years. 

 

What Are Some Tips for Better Rest?

If you’re looking for ways to combat sleep deprivation as a parent, we have you covered. From support from your loved ones to sleeping strategies, here are a few ways you can feel a bit more rested.

 

1. Co-Sleeping

Some children in their younger years may want to be close to their parents at night. As humans, we are wired that way. 

 

If a new mom is breastfeeding, it can be exhausting to get up, go to the baby's room, nurse, get the baby back down, and get yourself back to bed to get enough sleep. A child may be quicker to return to sleep if they sleep next to the parents. However, you should talk with your pediatrician about co-sleeping first to ensure that it is done safely.

 

2. Get Support From Your Community 

Sometimes, we do not like to ask for help — but there is a reason they say it takes a village to raise children. 

 

It is in our nature to want to help the people we care about, and if you are in need, it is worth talking to your loved ones. People love to give, so let them help you get the shut-eye you need. If you need a trusted friend or family member to hold your baby so you can lay down in bed for a couple more hours of sleep, take them up on it. It will recharge you and who doesn’t love the smell of a new baby.

 

Particularly if you have a newborn, having a friend set up a meal train where friends trade-off bringing you food can be a lifesaver for your mental health. It may not seem like a big deal to cook for yourself, but cooking requires time and energy that you might not always have. 

 

If you have a new baby, you can also set up visiting hours to make sure people are not stopping by unannounced and adding to your plate. 

 

When people come over and ask how they can help, tell them — whether it’s walking the dog, doing the dishes, or helping with the laundry. Permit your community to support you at this time. When you are able to return the favor, you can do so.  

 

3. Outsource Household Tasks

If you have the capability, consider hiring someone to clean your home bi-weekly or monthly to keep up with chores. If you have dogs requiring a lot of interaction, get a dog walker that can come a few times a week to take that stress off you, or enlist a family member for this task. You may even get a quieter home as an additional bonus. 

 

Sometimes we think we can do it all, but it ends up being the perfect recipe for burnout. The stress of getting everything done may compound over time, leaving you scrambling to find ways to de-stress. 

 

4. Get Outside 

Fresh air and sunlight during the day can help balance the natural circadian rhythm in the body, thus helping us build healthy sleep patterns and a regular sleep schedule. 

 

Ideally, your children will be awake during the day and asleep at night — but regulating their sleep is crucial in achieving this. Spending time outdoors can aid in sleep training so your baby sleeps through the night — and so do you. 

 

5. Maintain Some Social Activities  

Connection is imperative to our well-being. WHen you are feeling isolated or lonely, try to find time to get out and see friends, whether to grab lunch or enjoy a larger friend get-together. 

 

Sometimes being around friends and communicating what is going on in our lives is a healthy way to let go of stress. Even finding a parent meet-up that allows you to interact with other families can help you feel less frustrated during sleep deprivation, and may even equip you with further strategies of getting more sleep.

 

6. Rest When Able 

When you have a few moments to yourself, you may feel inclined to try to get a task done around the house. However, if you are sleep-deprived, try taking a break and getting some true rest. 

 

Sleep when your baby sleeps, and nap when your baby naps. Infant sleep can be unpredictable, and you should capitalize on the times when your little one is getting some zzzs.

 

ASYSTEM’s Complete Calm System works to support sleep quality while also reducing feelings of anxiety and tension so that when you do rest, you feel rested. With ingredients like Lion’s Mane, Rhodiola Extract, and Lemon Balm Extract, Complete Calm works to combat mental fatigue, support cognitive function, and provide an antioxidant boost.

 

 

7. Be Mindful of Nutrition and Caffeine

If coffee is a go-to, be mindful that caffeine can cause nervousness and digestive upset. Caffeine alternatives such as chicory coffee, lemon water, and some teas can provide you with energy without causing tension or making it tough to sleep later on. Calming teas can help promote relaxation for new mothers and fathers, which may in turn support better sleep quality and healthy blood pressure.

The foods we eat can also provide and sustain us energy throughout the day — or do the opposite. Processed foods and refined sugars create spikes in blood sugar and can actually make us tired.

 

Fruits, vegetables, and healthy protein sources are key. Foods such as bananas, fatty fish for vital omega-3s, sweet potatoes, eggs, and oatmeal are healthful food options that can energize you.  

 

8. Manage Your Stress 

Parenthood entails stress in many shapes and sizes, and managing that stress is crucial to better sleep, improved energy, and overall supported health. Whether you do yoga before breakfast, meditate before bed, or simply take a few moments to breathe during the day, stress management is essential — and ASYSTEM can help.

 

ASYSTEM De-Stress Gummies support your ability to handle stress and anxiety with ingredients like Safr'Inside™, Lion’s Mane, and Rhodiola extract. 

 

 

We recommend one gummy taken every day for at least one week to fully notice the benefits. When you are dealing with a lack of sleep our gummies can help enhance your focus and mood while reducing feelings of tension. 

 

9. Skin to Skin Contact 

Skin to skin contact is crucial in the first hours of a baby's life outside of the womb for bonding, greatly increases success in nursing, can support the baby’s breathing, heart rate, and blood sugar. It also plays a role in supporting the mom during postpartum and reducing maternal stress. 

 

This tip is still helpful in later months or years of a young child’s life.

 

When skin to skin is continued, it can give mothers even more confidence in learning their child’s sleepy cues and regulating sleep patterns.

 

Summary 

Parenthood can be both challenging and rewarding, and if you are struggling with sleep deprivation as a parent, you aren’t alone. 

 

However, strategies like asking loved ones for support, sleeping when your child sleeps, and practicing stress management can help you improve your energy levels and feel more well-rested. 

 

If you are in need of some extra support, ASYSTEM is here to help. With gummies for stress, sleep, and more, ASYSTEM works to support your body so you can get through the day.


Sources 

Why is Sleep Important? | Sleep Association

Skin to Skin Care | ILLI 

Tips to help your baby to sleep | NCT

NAPPSS Module 4 Discussion Points Related to Sleep Deprivation for Parents | NAPPSS

Meet our Experts

This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.

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