When you gave birth to your child, probably your biggest wish was to get home and sleep in your own bed as soon as possible. You probably hated the bright hospital lights and the noise which kept you awake. However, why is it just as hard to fall asleep now that you’re finally at home? Postpartum or postnatal insomnia is a common issue for many women. It goes beyond being just exhausted. So, if you find it hard to fall asleep even when your baby is sleeping, you’ll definitely need our tips on how to deal with postpartum insomnia.
What is Postpartum Insomnia?
There is a huge difference between the in ability to sleep due to your child’s demands and postpartum insomnia. Postpartum insomnia is the condition when you can’t fall asleep even when your new little bundle of joy is comfortably snoozing. What causes this condition is usually a combination of factors as new moms tend to be extremely concerned about their child’s safety and well-being. However, it’s important to note that if not addressed on time and properly, the condition can become chronic and have a detrimental effect on your overall health.
Causes of Postpartum Insomnia
Many women experience hormonal changes which lead to excessive sweating, especially at night, Hormonal fluctuations are responsible for flushing the water which was essential for supporting you and baby during pregnancy but is no longer needed. Thus, you might not be able to sleep because you can’t deal with lying in a pool of sweat.
Giving birth wreaks havoc on your hormones, which means that your whole body might be out of balance. The hormones are the ones responsible for our internal clock and they dictate the time to sleep and be awake. However, when hormonal fluctuations occur, they can confuse our internal clock and make falling asleep an arduous task.
Postpartum Mood Disorders
Giving birth can be quite an emotional experience. Hence, many women deal with postpartum mood disorders, including depression. This is a huge stress for the whole body and it definitely affects sleep. In case you’re dealing with some serious form of depression, make sure you visit your doctor and ask for management options.
You are probably aware that the night time feedings are the ones disrupting your internal clock. So, you are finding it hard to fall asleep at predictable times. Hence, when you wake up to feed your baby during the night, don’t feel tempted to check your phone and don’t turn on the light in your room. If you use your device or turn on the bright lights, you will send your body a wrong signal that it’s daytime. Consequently, going back to sleep will be a challenge.
Postpartum Insomnia Symptoms
The mood swings, which many new-moms experience, are a result of lack of sleep, hormone fluctuations, and the stress of caring for an infant. Hence, it has been discovered that mood swings are usually associated with both insomnia and postpartum depression.
Your irritability levels tend to rise when you’re not getting enough rest. So, when you are sleep deprived, even for one night, your brain has the power to only fight and you’re very likely to be irritated even for trivial things.
Sleeplessness is the most common culprit for negative emotions, such as sadness. What’s more, these negative emotions are often deteriorated by postnatal insomnia.
Last but not least, anxiety is another common symptom of postpartum insomnia. So, if you haven’t slept for one night, you become worried and anxious that you won’t be able to sleep the next night. As a result, the cycle keeps going and it has the potential to become a full-blown case of insomnia.
Tips on How to Deal with Postpartum Insomnia
If by reading our article you’ve noticed that you have some of the symptoms of postpartum insomnia, you’re probably interested in learning what you can do about it. Here are several tips on how to deal with this condition.
Always Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
The biggest mistake many new moms make is to use the time while their baby sleeps to catch up on chores. However, you should make sure to always sleep during the time your baby sleep. Hence, you’ll ensure you get plenty of sleep and rest on a daily basis.
Go to Bed Early
Staying up late would be the worst possible options when having a baby. Instead, you should try to go to bed early and rest for as long as you can before your baby needs you. Thus, use the first months of your baby’s life to catch up on sleep and rest as much as possible.
Create the Perfect Sleep Environment
The most important rule sleep experts have shared is that the bedroom should only be used for sleeping and sex. So, you should remove all electronic devices from your bedroom. This is so because you need to train your room that when you walk into the bedroom, it’s time for you to sleep.
Share the Work with Your Partner
This is very important advice as if you want to stay sane, you should share the workload with your partner. Getting up for feeding should be a shared task between the two parents.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
This might not be as easy as it sounds, but remember that everyone makes mistakes. Hence, stop worrying whether you’re doing everything right, as this only has a negative impact on your sleep. Instead, try meditations or some other relaxing activities like warm baths, a massage or stroll around the neighborhood.
Keep it Dark
Always keep your bedroom dark during night time which will show your internal clock that it’s night and it’s time to get back to sleep after feeding. You should especially avoid turning on bright lights during the night as your body will awake immediately and be alert when it’s light.
Consuming too much caffeine during the day to keep you going will also keep you awake at night. Hence, should avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages and drink only one or two cups of coffee a day.
Avoid Screen Time
Many moms tend to check their phones while feeding their babies. However, the light from the screen has a negative impact on the function of the internal clock. Thus, avoid scrolling through social media, reading news, or simply checking the time on your phone as the light can keep you awake.
Deep Breathing Techniques
Last but not least, you can also try some deep breathing techniques to help you fall asleep easier. Try taking deep breaths to a count of ten which is a fast way to calm down and help you snooze quickly.
Many new moms have to deal with a sleep loss after the arrival of a baby. This is considered normal to some extent. However, if you experience difficulty falling asleep or returning to sleep for a prolonged period of time, you might be dealing with postpartum insomnia and thus, you should definitely seek help.