Tips for Parents with Infants to Get Better Sleep
Your little tax deduction may now only be an Earned Income Tax Credit, thanks to tax changes, but there’s something even more valuable for new parents than the dollar amount of a refund: Sleep! The importance of getting quality ZZZZZs is accurately compared to such things as food, water, and air. Disrupted sleep goes along with having a newborn, however, since around-the-clock feeding times are typically every three hours. This schedule goes on for many months! The following are tips for getting quality sleep, to reap its important benefits.
Why is Sleep so Important?
A proper amount of restful sleep supports brain health. Our bodies are also repaired as we sleep; our heart and blood vessels are restored, for example. The following are benefits of getting adequate sleep:
- The brain is better able to process information.
- Memory is consolidated better.
- You have better concentration, productivity, and performance.
- Improved immune function.
- Less effects of inflammation on the body.
- Better able to recognize social cues, such as emotional expressions.
- Obesity, since the hormones that make you feel hungry are out of balance
- Depression (90% of people suffering from depression complain of poor sleep quality)
- Anxiety and other mood disorders
- Achy muscles
- Higher blood pressure
Tips for Better Quality Sleep
It may not be possible to get a full quantity of uninterrupted sleep, but ensuring that you have sufficient sleep can make a big improvement in how you feel and how you function. Tips for better sleep as a new parent follow:
- It’s recommended that adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. When this isn’t possible, the next best thing is to get at least 3 hours of sleep This gives your body time to go through each of the stages of sleep, including the all-important restorative phases.
- Both parents need sleep, since it is an essential component of health. Nighttime baby duties should be split equally. Breastfeeding moms can pump their breast, have a bottle ready, and sleep through the baby’s first feeding of the night.
- Parents going solo with a new baby can ask for help at night, so that baby duties are shared. Friends and family are often willing to help in any way they can, and giving the gift of sleep is a wonderful way to contribute.
- Babies cry more frequently than usual and need more attention when they’re sick or teething. Stay flexible and make changes to your sleep schedule, when needed.
- A foolproof way to get more solid sleep cycles is to sleep when your baby sleeps, whether it’s 7 pm at night or 8 am.
Set the Stage for Stress-Free Bedtimes
While struggling through the newborn phase, parents are wise to plan on establishing bedtime routines that last throughout childhood. As millions of parents are aware, some kids continue to disrupt their parents’ sleep at every young age. It doesn’t have to be that way. Give small children daily naptimes. Make it a household priority to go through a consistent bedtime routine. Ensure that your children don’t eat or drink things late in the day that make it more difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep. Avoid sleeping late on the weekends because it throws off our internal clocks and could cause sleep disruption for children when the weekdays resume.