If you still feel sleepy after the kindergarten bus leaves, there’s a good reason for that! A new study reports that parents continue to be sleep deprived for six years after their child is born. Even when it’s not night feedings, it can be illness, wet beds or nightmares pulling parents out of bed for years.
But solid sleep is critical – not just for your sanity, but for your physical health. So we have a few small ways to help you catch a bit more shut-eye when you have littles at home.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. Sure, moms need to do dishes and laundry during their free moments. But it’s also a good idea to give yourself one guilt-free nap time every day.
- Take turns. When weekends come around and there’s time for extra sleep, trade off between mom and dad. One gets to sleep in Saturday, the other Sunday. Same with afternoon naps!
- Unwind earlier. Try getting ready for bed earlier than usual – maybe as soon as the baby is in bed. Even if you spend more evening hours awake after that, you’ll naturally begin to unwind once your pajamas are on.
- Cut the caffeine late in the day. Of course, coffee is a mom’s best friend. But when you drink it too late in the day, it can be hard to fall asleep early – making the next day even harder!
- Don’t give up after a few months. While your baby might start sleeping better after a few months, it’s important that you continue healthy sleep habits – including regular naps – for years to come. After all, it takes a lot of energy to keep up with those kids – best to get some rest!