10 Tips for Moms to Get More Sleep

A well rested mom happily sleeping in a bed.

10 Tips for Moms to Get More Sleep

Sleep. Once you become a parent, you realize just how much you love it and how much you miss it. Sleeping in is a thing of the past. Now your little babies need you every couple of hours day and night, and your older children are getting up before the crack of dawn. Then add your to-do list, the errands that you have to run, the chores that you have piling up at home, and maybe even projects, assignments and/or emails that you need to do for work…you’re completely fried. Not to mention days and nights when your little one’s get sick. Who has time for sleep?! I get it. I really do.

A lot of moms that I know and have worked with are running on around 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night. As someone who has worked on-call 24/7 as a doula and who runs two companies working 80+ hours a week, I know what it’s like when you have to function on only 2 or 3 hours of sleep or work a whole night shift and have to be up all day. It’s hard work and long hours. But guess what. Sleep is critical to a healthy life. It’s a necessity. It may seem impossible to add more time to your sleep schedule when there is so much going on and so much that needs to be done. However, there are some things that you can do to improve your quality of sleep which can then lead you to more sleep each night.

I’ve incorporated these tips into my life to help me live a healthier lifestyle so I hope that these will help you too. Here are my top 10 tips to help moms (and dads) get more and better sleep each night.

Tip #1: Avoid Screen-Time at Least an Hour Before Bed

I know. This is really tough. I’m the same way scrolling through my phone on social media before I go to bed. But staring at a screen can actually hinder you from falling asleep quickly and getting the healthy sleep that you need. The reason is this particular type of light illuminating from your screen is interfering with your melatonin production (essential for getting a good night’s sleep) and it is activating your brain. Put the TV, computer, tablet and phone away and focus on tip #2…

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Tip #2: Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual

It’s easy for us to get caught up and work, work, work until we drop. But rather than stressing about house chores or work emails right before bed, focus your time on doing something relaxing. Some examples are taking a warm bath or shower, putting on a soothing lotion, meditating, reading a book (not on a tablet), or listening to calming music. If you continue to do your bedtime ritual each night, you are telling your body that it’s time to wind down and go to bed. Your relaxing bedtime ritual can promote better sleep by easing the transition from wakefulness to drowsiness.

Tip #3: Set a Bedtime for Yourself

I get that this isn’t achievable all the time, but try to go to bed the same time every day. Even if that time is at 9pm. You want to give yourself enough time to try to get 7-9 hours of sleep. (I know that sounds impossible.) But going to bed consistently at the same time every night is good for your body’s sleep-wake cycle and it helps promote a better night’s sleep.

If it’s been more than 15 minutes and you’re having a hard time dozing off, get up and go do something relaxing. Do not pick up that phone of yours! This will not help. Get your mind and body ready for sleep and go back to bed when you’re feeling tired. Otherwise you’ll be miserable tossing and turning in bed thinking about how you cannot sleep. Been there.

Tip #4: Look at Your Surroundings

Look around your bedroom and notice if there are things that you can change to help with your sleep. For example:

  • Is your room to bright when you’re trying to sleep? Consider purchasing blackout curtains to help your body’s circadian rhythm.
  • What’s the temperature in your room? Studies have found that an ideal sleep temperature is between 68 and 72 degrees.
  • Do you live on a busy street or noisy neighborhood? Contemplate using earplugs, a fan or a white noise machine to help block out disruptive sounds.
  • How old is your mattress and pillow? Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep, too. Make sure that what you are sleeping on isn’t hurting your sleep time.
READ MORE
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Tip #5: Pay Attention to What You’re Eating and Drinking

It actually doesn’t matter what time you eat (even before bed), you just have to pay attention to what and how much you’re eating and drinking before bed. You don’t want to be consuming too many calories before you go to sleep. You also don’t want to go to bed either hungry or stuffed. That discomfort might keep you up at night. If you eat too much before you go to sleep your body will also be busy digesting that food not allowing you to achieve good quality, deep sleep.

And it should go without saying, don’t drink too much before bed. We want to prevent those disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom. Pregnant moms can especially feel me on this one!

Tip #6: Get Physical

We know that just having kids can be your cardio, but working up a sweat for at last 30 minutes a day can help you when you’re getting ready for bed. It will actually help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. Or you can spend some quality time and have sex with your partner. That can help with your sleep quality too. 😉

Tip #7: Manage Your Stress

When you have too much on your mind because you have so much going on or too much to do (like most moms I know), your sleep will suffer. Figure out healthy ways to help you stay organized and relaxed so you can manage your stress levels. Ways to do that are to first set your priorities and second delegate some of your tasks. You can’t do it all. Determine what are the most important tasks and the rest can wait. Also, don’t feel guilty if you need to give yourself a break. Everyone deserves some down time. And to help lower your stress before bed, write down and journal what’s on your mind. Set those thoughts aside for the next day so you can go to bed with a clear mind.

Tip #8: Split the Night Shift with Your Partner

This may not be possible every night, but if you have a newborn, split the night with your partner. You (or your partner) start with the first 5 hours (10pm to 3am) and the other can do the remaining 5 hours (3am to 8am), or whatever 5 hour block you prefer. This way you can each get at least 5 solid hours of sleep.

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Another option would be to switch days of being up with the baby. However, if you are breastfeeding your baby, taking a whole night off can affect your milk production and cause engorgement and major discomfort.

Tip #9: Say No to Extra Responsibilities

When you have a newborn, do not feel guilty about saying no to extra responsibilities. Maybe your oldest child’s school needs a chaperone or a volunteer for an activity, or your church needs some extra help, or your friends want you to help with a party. It’s okay to say no. Don’t feel guilty for it. You need this time to bond with your baby and to sleep when you have the time. Extra things on your plate will only cause you to have more stress and less sleep.

Tip #10: Say Yes to Help

I tell this to every single mother . . . Accept any help that is offered to you and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Many people are more than happy to offer a helping hand if you ask for it. That could be your family, friends, church members, a babysitter, a postpartum doula, you name it. Whether you hire the help or recruit the help, accept the help. Sleep is a necessity and even if you just need someone (that you trust) to watching your kids so you can catch up on some sleep, do it.

It’s common for mothers to put others’ needs before themselves. It’s what we do. But when it comes to sleep, you must make it a priority. Well-rested moms are healthier, happier and don’t feel as crazy. 😉 It’s unrealistic to think that you will now get 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night because come on, you’re a mom! And your kids won’t let you. But if you take these tips into consideration and start incorporating them into your life, I promise you will be getting more/better sleep and you will begin to feel better, stronger and ready to take on the day.

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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#babyannouncement #pregnancyannouncement #pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #babyonboard #mumtobe
Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
📷: @juna.moms⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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#placenta #lotusbirth #homebirth #midwife #midwifery #phsiologicThirdStage #delayedcordclamping #optimalcordclamping #waitforwhite #whatstherush #postpartum #birth #laboranddelivery #babychick #mommychick
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
📷: @emilyshapaka⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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📷: Martiza Elizabeth on FB
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