For new parents, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things to strive for. In order to be able to care for their children, caregivers must ensure that they are well-rested and capable of taking on the task ahead. With this in mind, it is essential for expectant parents and those with young children alike to familiarize themselves with the basics of achieving restful sleep.
We strive to provide an overview of what a “good night’s sleep” looks like and offer tips on how best to achieve it in light of the unique challenges faced by new parents. We will cover topics such as creating the ideal bedtime environment, the importance of bedroom essentials like mattresses, calming rituals that encourage relaxation, dealing with common sleep issues, advice for couples on becoming better rested together and when it may be necessary to seek professional assistance.
The Basics – Creating the Ideal Bedtime Environment
Evaluating your current sleeping environment is the first step in creating an ideal setup for getting restful sleep. It’s important to assess noise levels, light and temperature before making any changes to bedding or mattresses. When it comes to bedding pillows and linens, go with what feels comfortable — it may take a few tries to find something that fits your unique needs. However, don’t be tempted to use too many pillows, as this can disrupt sleep instead of helping it.
Regarding mattresses, Nectar mattresses are a budget-friendly, bed-in-a-box solution that provides high-quality materials and craftsmanship at a fraction of the cost of traditional mattress stores. In addition, Nectar mattresses come with a solid warranty and are specifically designed with comfort and support in mind, providing optimal temperature regulation so you won’t wake up feeling too hot or cold.
Calming Rituals to Promote Relaxation and Better Sleep Quality
Establishing regular bedtime and wake-up times is key to achieving a better quality of sleep. Setting an hour before bedtime as a “power down” period can be useful for winding down and allowing your body to naturally prepare for restful sleep. During this time, engaging in calming activities like reading or listening to music can help set the mood for relaxation. Steering clear of bad habits such as drinking caffeine late at night or using screens to watch television shows close to bedtime will also help promote better sleep.
Creating a nighttime routine with activities that make you feel great but relaxed can be beneficial when trying to get good sleep. This could include taking a warm shower, dimming the lights or practicing some light stretches. If you’re struggling with falling asleep at night, avoiding stressful conversations and tasks during the day might also be beneficial in setting yourself up for success when it comes time to hit the pillow.
Dealing with Common Sleep Challenges Seen in New Parents
Getting enough sleep is crucial for any parent, but especially for new parents. Unfortunately, lacking good sleep can lead to exhaustion and burnout, making providing the best care for their little ones challenging. Insomnia cycles can also become an issue as new parents often struggle to fall asleep following the end of a stressful day. While pharmaceutical sleep aids may seem tempting, natural sleep aids such as melatonin are a better option as they are non-habit forming and have fewer side effects.
Melatonin is an excellent option, as it mimics the natural sleep hormone found in the body and works to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Taking melatonin an hour before bedtime can help promote relaxation and encourage longer durations of deep, restful sleep. Additionally, there are a variety of herbal remedies with calming properties that can also be used to support a better quality of sleep, such as chamomile, lavender and valerian root.
When it comes to balancing your own sleep schedule over that of your baby’s, this can be tricky at first. This is why it’s important to focus on your little one’s sleep schedule and routine as well. The more you get them into a regular routine, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep at night. Make sure you prioritize your sleep and don’t let yourself get too exhausted — taking breaks throughout the day where possible can help give you that extra energy boost.
Tips for New-Parent Couples on How to Get More Restful Sleep for Both Partners
You might not think that sleep deprivation can seriously impact your relationship. Still, studies have found that couples who don’t get enough restful sleep often report higher levels of marital dissatisfaction.
The key to getting more restful sleep for both partners is to develop an understanding and respect for each other’s individual needs. That might mean having one partner take the late shift and the other takes the early shift to accommodate their sleep cycles. It’s also important to have a mental health check-in with each other every day — if one partner is feeling incredibly exhausted, it might be beneficial for them to focus on getting more rest instead of taking on extra tasks. With that said, here are five tips for new-parent couples to help get more restful sleep for both partners:
- Set a schedule: Establish who will be getting up in the middle of the night for feedings and when they should do so. This can help ensure that partners get their necessary rest even when one is needed to tend to the baby at night.
- Take turns: Taking turns caring for and tending to the baby can also help ensure both partners can get some restful sleep each night.
- Nap when you can: Where possible, take naps during the day when your little one is asleep — this will ensure both parents don’t exhaust themselves all at once.
- Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help in caring for your baby so you can have some extra time away from parenting duties.
- Use technology: There are plenty of tools and pieces of technology out there which can make looking after a baby easier, such as baby monitors and smart thermometers. Utilize these wherever possible — it could give you extra peace of mind knowing your baby is cared for while you rest.
Caring for a newborn can be an incredibly exhausting experience, especially when both parents are in the mix. So it’s important to prioritize rest and ensure that each partner gets enough quality sleep each night. By setting a schedule, taking turns caring for their little one, napping during the day where possible, asking for help from family and friends and using technology to make parenting easier, new-parent couples can get more restful sleep. Doing so can help ensure both partners are well-rested and energized — vital for maintaining a healthy relationship and creating a happy family.