The pressures of being a new parent can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re sleep-deprived.
A survey of 500 parents undertaken by sleep experts, Bensons For Beds, reveals the amount of sleep new parents lose per night in their child’s first year. The study concludes 69% of new parents lose three or more hours of sleep per night.
If you’re a new parent suffering through the late-night feeds, you’re not alone. Data shows over two-fifths of new parents lose three or four hours of sleep per night, and almost one in six lose five to six hours of sleep.
With adults requiring between six and nine hours of sleep for full functionality, the survey results demonstrated that many parents are not achieving an optimal amount of sleep.
Furthermore, the data showed nearly half of new mums and almost two in five new dads lose three or four hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can negatively affect cognitive abilities, reasoning and emotions. Severe tiredness can contribute to depression and anxiety, increasing feelings of irritability and frustration and affecting the relationships we form negatively.
With over two-thirds of new parents demonstrating a severe sleep loss every night, Bensons For Beds offers tips for better quality sleep as a new parent.
Sleep when the baby sleeps
Take full advantage of your child’s nap times or quiet hours, making catching up on sleep a priority. It can be challenging to juggle parenting responsibilities with other household chores, and it may feel like downtime should be spent tidying. Instead, ensure you use this time to gain lost sleep back.
Try relaxation exercises
Taking five or ten minutes before bedtime doing a simple meditation or relaxation exercise can help refocus your mind, tuning down the alertness that comes from childcare and allowing your brain to prepare for sleep.
You may feel the instant gratification of that cup of coffee, but you won’t be thankful for it when you’re trying to sleep. Caffeine can keep you awake, even once you reach bedtime, meaning it may take more time to switch off.
Understand that you’re not alone. Whether that’s recognising the other new parents who are also losing sleep, asking loved ones for help or leaning on friends, make sure you share the load of parenting with those close to you.
Be comfortable in bed
When taking advantage of any precious time to sleep, the last thing you need is to be uncomfortable in bed. If you’re squirming to get comfy or finding that your body isn’t feeling well supported, a new mattress can make a big difference.