Sleep is precious. We need it to recover & rejuvenate to live life and have health and wellbeing. Deprived sleep goes beyond a tired body - it also affects how you think and cope.
Facts about sleep:
Humans send 1/3 of their life sleeping
Sleep deprivation will kill you more quickly than food deprivation
Pain tolerance is reduced by sleep deprivation
Lack of sleep will effect your emotional state
There are two different types of sleep: REM rapid eye movement and Non-REM which is made up of 4 stages.
Most of our deep, restorative sleep normally takes place during the first third of the night.
Facts about sleep in Newborns:
Your baby's sleep patterns are nothing like yours.
Baby's sleep includes a higher percentage or REM. Approx 50-80% compared to your 20%. Baby's sleep cycles run approximately 50mins to your 90 mins.
Your baby will wake up more easily, sleep for shorter periods - no more than 3-4 hours and maintain this pattern around the clock.
If I get a total of 8 hours sleep but was up two or three times for 20 mins (or longer) why do I feel worse than if I got 5 hours of sleep in a row?
The amount of broken sleep causes a significant decrease in your deep sleep. Every time you wake up you have to go through the sleep cycle all over again. The result = exhaustion.
How can I recover or catch up?
Ever heard of sleep when baby sleeps! I know so many Mummas will be laughing at the notion of this but here is the thing. Back in the day when their was a village and communities who helped newborn Mummas, all the tasks that you do on your own were done for you so you were able to get rest or a power nap when bubba was sleeping.
If we are to get the rest and recovery we need after giving birth and with the broken sleep, planning for your postpartum to have tasks taken care of such as washing and meals can take a huge load off so you can get that 20 min power nap in or longer before bubs next cycle begins. A 20-30 min nap should refresh you without causing sleep inertia - that groggy, out of it feeling when you wake up.
If you can manage that 2-3 times a day you will really feel the positive impact it has on your wellbeing.
A two week window minimum of being able to have these tasks completed for you will do you the world of good while you are adjusting to life with a newborn.
"The first 40 days will impact your next 42 years"
The way a newborn Mumma is treated and cared for in her first 40 days will determine her wellbeing for the next 42 years.
Get your partner to bring bubba to you in bed for feeds. Don't leave the bed and give bubs back to your partner once bubs has finished. Let your partner burp, change and settle bubs so your deep rest is not interrupted. Ask when you need it but also have scheduled in for 2-3 nights a week. If you don't it can lead to serious sleep deprivation which can have other serious health effects down the track.
As bubs gets older, trade off middle of the night feeds. If your lack of sleep is really beginning to impact your sense of wellbeing you may want to consider pumping milk so your partner can take care of at least one nigh time feed. Pumping and breastfeeding can take its toll, I recommend the www.haakaa.co.nz it is an incredible silicone suction cups that catches the let down from the other breast when you begin feeding. This is a great way to catch excess milk that can be used later.
Turn down monitors or put in ear plugs. The noises your baby makes are going to alarm you at first because you are not expecting your newborn to make such loud gurgling sounds. Your newborn will be in your room so you will hear all the sounds bubba makes but their will be a time where you can block some of them out so you can sleep through as you will realise your baby is not awake but keeping you awake with the sounds baby is making.
Practice good timing - start winding yourself down with limited stimuli from television, mobile phones, ipads etc. These devices are counter intuitive to having good sleep.
Set the mood - your bedroom should be quiet, dark and a temperate to encourage sleep.
Your body does most of its recovery between 8pm - midnight. If you can sleep solidly through this time and get your partner to do the 10pm feed, you will really feel the difference.
Night Nanny - can really help to keep those energy levels where you need them. You may need her more at the beginning but as you begin to adjust it may be 1-2 times per week.
Taking steps to learn how to prepare your environment for the arrival of your precious newborn will pay dividends where getting loads of sleep before baby arrives unfortunately wont. Want to learn more about #planningforyourpreciouspostpartum? Register your interest to attend one of our free online information evenings www.meals4mummas.com.au