How Can New Parents Get More Sleep?

It’s a familiar scenario for many new parents: your little one wakes up in the middle of the night. You eventually get them comforted, calmed down and back to sleep. Whew! Now it’s your turn to get back to sleep. But you can’t help tossing, turning and watching the clock until that dreaded alarm goes off in just a few hours. 

Since getting adequate rest is crucial for your own well-being and ability to take care of your child, it’s important to find ways to get back to sleep as quickly as possible when your sleep is interrupted. Here are some tips for how new parents can get back to sleep fast when their kids wake up in the middle of the night:

  1. Have a plan in place. Before your child even wakes up, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place for how you’ll handle nighttime wake-ups. This might include deciding who will get up with the child, or having a set of tasks that need to be completed before you can go back to bed. Having a plan will help you feel more in control and less flustered when you’re sleep-deprived and half-awake.
  2. Create a calming bedtime routine. A consistent bedtime routine can help your child (and you) get a better night’s sleep. This might include activities like reading a bedtime story, taking a warm bath, and singing lullabies. By establishing a calming bedtime routine, you can set the stage for a more restful night’s sleep for everyone.
  3. Don’t stay in the same room as your child. If your child wakes up and you’re able to comfort them quickly, it might be tempting to stay in the same room and try to get back to sleep. However, research has shown that it’s easier to fall back asleep if you’re not in the same room as your child. So, if possible, try to return to your own bed and let your child fall back asleep on their own.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques. If you’re having trouble falling back asleep, try using relaxation techniques to calm your mind and body. This might include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization. Taking a few minutes to focus on relaxation can help you fall back asleep more quickly.
  5. Get some light exposure. Natural light can help regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle, so if you’re having trouble falling back asleep after your child wakes up, try getting some natural light exposure. This could mean going outside for a few minutes, opening the curtains, or using a light therapy lamp.
  6. Don’t spend too much time in bed awake. If you’ve been lying in bed awake for more than 20-30 minutes, it can be helpful to get out of bed and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy again. This might include reading a book, listening to soothing music, or doing some light stretching.

By following these tips, new parents can get back to sleep fast when their kids wake up in the middle of the night. This will help them feel more rested and able to handle the demands of parenthood.

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