Poor sleep quality of new parents is a common phenomenon. Many mothers experience postpartum insomnia after giving birth as their bodies go through a revolution. Because of taking care of the baby, it’s even harder to fall asleep.
Furthermore, a baby’s eating habits often leave parents without an opportunity to rest. An older baby can also experience disturbed sleep periods, whether it is caused by teething, growth spurt, or regression. For some parents returning to sleep after a midnight meal is as easy as returning to sleep and closing the eyes. But insomnia makes the need for rest for some people even more impossible.
What is postpartum insomnia?
In the last two weeks of pregnancy, 41% of women reported experiencing difficulty falling asleep for some time. In addition, maternal insomnia symptoms have been correlated with many negative side effects such as mood disturbance, fatigue, sleeplessness, and family dysfunction. During pregnancy sleep, problems can occur through specific mechanisms which resemble nighttime sleep-wake timing and circadian patterns.
What causes postpartum insomnia?
Generally, insomnia occurs when a person is not sleeping at the same time for two hours a day. The persistent difficulty is defined as difficulty in sleeping onset maintenance, consolidation, or quality. Insomnia results in excessive sleep every night or despite having adequate sleep space. When awake causes excessive nighttime sleepiness and other impairments. Postpartum depression or perinatal depression can also cause problems at the bedside. A new mother who sleeps poorly has a threefold better frequency of depression than those who sleep better. It may be in addition to postpartum pains, according to studies.
Changes in sleep architecture
All postpartum mothers feel less NREM sleep in all stages except stage 3 NREM and REM sleep. The prolactin hormone mediates these changes. They are perhaps a reaction to the excess sleep which accrues rapidly during the postpartum period. Almost all the resources out there focus on boosting sleep through an improved diet for an infant. Here are some sleep-positive tips for your postpartum self.
Your estrogen levels fell, but it takes a while for your body to find a good balance. The hormones that affect the functions in our internal clock signal the time for both sleep and awakening. Even a slight fluctuation can confuse and put some people to sleep. It makes it hard to get to sleep.
Postpartum depression is a serious medical issue and kind of melancholy that affects some new moms after they’ve given birth to their children. Although everyone feels postpartum depression differently, it is typically characterized by persistent and profound feelings of sadness and/or apathy, a strong feeling of being overwhelmed, sometimes paralyzing dread of being unable to manage the demands of parenthood, and frequently a loss or absence of interest in the baby and life in general.
People who experience postpartum depression and anxiety are more prone to sleep problems, according to research. Furthermore, sleeplessness can raise the danger of developing anxiety and sadness and can lead to sleep deprivation.
Tips for treating insomnia and improving postpartum sleep
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT I) involves identifying problematic or inaccurate thoughts and beliefs about sleep and empowering them towards healthy attitudes and actions. Specific components of cognitive-behavioral therapeutic therapy can include: Modifying people’s feelings and beliefs about the quality of sleep.
If you wake up during the night, controlled breathing, meditation, and other relaxation methods may aid in your unwinding at night and getting back to sleep. In addition, you can take up yoga as the perfect in-between of exercise and relaxing. Also, aromatherapy can be helpful with both anxiety and insomnia.
Practice sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a phrase that refers to habits that aid in the quality of your sleep, such as establishing a daily routine that encourages restful sleep at night and maintaining a healthy sleeping environment. Sleep quality is influenced by the temperature and light levels in the bedroom, caffeine and alcohol consumption, eating routines, and exercise.
Rearrange your sleep schedule
Many newborns have irregular sleeping habits, as any new parent can tell you. Being able to sleep when their baby sleeps, both at night and during naps can assist mothers in adjusting to their child’s snooze routine and getting enough rest each day/night. Keep in mind that newborns sleep for about 17 hours each day, so their moms will be up for a long time when their kid is asleep.
Go for a morning walk.
Moms who have just carried their child may benefit from a short walk to relax after waking up. Natural light exposure can reset the circadian rhythm, which is usually regulated by the rise and fall of the sun. Moderate exercise may also help them sleep better the next night.
Get some exercise
If your doctor gives you the green light, ease back into a fitness regimen. Exercising may help to de-stress you and even prevent postpartum depression. In addition, getting your heart rate up during the day might make sleeping easier at night.
Create a routine
A regular bedtime ritual aids in the development of healthy sleep habits, but it can also benefit parents. Slowing down communicates to your body that it’s time to relax. So turn off all lights, put on comfortable pajamas, listen to soft music, meditate, read a book, try restorative yoga, and avoid screens for a few hours.
Consider your eating habits.
Caffeine and sweets, both of which can keep you up if consumed in the afternoon or early evening, should be avoided if you want to fall asleep easily. A hearty dinner before bedtime may have a similar impact. Try eating fruits and vegetables as much as you can and keep your diet simple.
Postpartum depression can be experienced by parents after the birth of their baby, with many people experiencing it for up to two years. It is characterized by strong feelings of being overwhelmed, often paralyzing dread of being unable to manage the demands of parenthood, and frequently a loss or absence of interest in the baby and life in general. According to research, people with depression are more prone to sleep problems, which can also raise the danger of developing anxiety and sadness and lead to sleep deprivation.
Potential treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT I), where identifying problematic or inaccurate thoughts are empowered towards healthy attitude change; relaxation exercises that may be taught with the help of audiovisual materials, particularly for new parents; and sleep hygiene recommendations such as keeping a regular bedtime no matter how long it takes to soothe your child.