7 Days of Self Care: How to Feel Better in a Week

It can be simple to incorporate self care each day of the week, as long as you have a plan.

As a parent, the days are long and filled with taking care of the needs of everyone else but ourselves.  We hear all this talk about self care but it sounds overwhelming, time consuming and impossible.  It’s easy to start but hard to keep it up.  

So try to set a simple self care goal each day of the week.  Here’s a sample plan for self care that will help you take care of your body’s physical and mental needs, without requiring a lot of commitment.

Try these 7 days of self care this week, plus download a printable tracker so that you can keep up with it!
7 Days of Self Care
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
7 Days of Self Care

Monday: Move Your Body

No one likes Mondays.  The weekend is over, everyone is groggy and the boring, mundane tasks begin all over again.  You’re going to need to pump up your energy levels in order to make it through the rest of the week.  Coffee can only do so much.

So today, make an effort to move your body in some way.

Clear a spot on the living room floor and do some simple stretches.  Yoga is an excellent way to move your body, and there are so many different benefits of yoga! Dance to at least one entire song.  Plank for 30 seconds.  Do some crunches or lunges or jumping jacks.  Go for a walk around the block or ride your bike.  

It doesn’t have to be a full workout, just move your body!  Exercise is a great form of self care and will boost your mood for the rest of the day, if not the week.  

Tuesday: Take an Epic Shower

You’ll probably need to shower several times throughout the week and if you’re a busy mom like me then they’re probably really quick and you’re listening for a kid the entire time.  But hey, that’s motherhood, what can you do?

Reserve some time today to take one, epic, glorious shower.

Pick a time when someone else is watching the kids (TV shows and iPads count) even if it means you need to get up a little earlier or go to bed a little later.  Crank up the hot water and USE ALL THE PRODUCTS!  Mask your face, deep condition your hair, exfoliate, moisturize and shave your entire leg and not just the bottom 1/4 that shows when you’re not wearing socks.

The rest of the week may go by in a blur and you won’t have this chance again, so make it count.  A hot shower and some pampering can do wonders for your mood, mental health and skin! 

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Wednesday: Clean out ONE closet

…or drawer, or cupboard or room.  But be careful not to get carried away with this one.  I don’t know about you but I have several closets and drawers filled with all kinds of junk.  And I know that moving junk from one closet means I’ll throw it into another closet full of junk and then feel obligated to clean that one out too.

You only get to do ONE.

Next week, you can tackle on another one.  Start small, like that junk drawer in the kitchen or the cupboard underneath your bathroom sink.  You can make a list of all the areas you want to tackle and scratch one off each week.

You might not think of this one as self care but I promise you will find mental clarity and a sense of peace once it’s done.  These areas are always at the back of our minds, and the longer we procrastinate them, the more unproductive and lazy we feel.  This sense of unaccomplishment can affect our self image and confidence.  It’s amazing how proud we can feel just by cleaning out ONE closet.  

Thursday: Get Creative

Tapping into your inner creativity is a great way to boost your mood and help keep your mind sharp.  If you don’t think of yourself as a creative person, then maybe you just haven’t found your strength yet.  Creativity comes in so many different forms.

Today, use your skills to create something.

You can do some type of craft, paint, color or draw a picture.  Try starting a longer term project like a paint by numbers kit. Make something out of salt-dough or paper.  Knit, sew, crochet or string some beads into jewelry.  Bake something delicious or try a new recipe. 

Kids love to be involved in these kinds of activities, but moms are often busy cleaning up spills and helping with supplies.  This time, make sure that you sit down, embrace the mess and get your hands dirty.  Week after week, you’ll find that your skills will improve, and your mind will be beaming with possibilities.

Art Therapy
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Friday: Socialize

Fridays aren’t the same as they used to be before kids.  Friday nights were something to look forward to, and we’d be checking in with all our friends to find out where the party was at.  They’re not nearly as exciting anymore but that doesn’t mean we have to stop socializing.

Make it a point to socialize with a friend in some way today.

Get dressed up, do your hair and makeup and head out for a girl’s night, or date night.  Invite a fellow mom over for a play date, or have a sweat pants and taco night in with your bestie.  If that all sounds too exhausting then just call up a friend and chat.  

Our social connection needs to be expanded beyond Facebook and Instagram.  Our mental health suffers when we keep ourselves locked away from the outside world.  We need to see other people and have real, human connections.  It’s good for our mood to hear another person’s voice and feel their touch.  Laughing with friends is like group self-care! 

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Saturday: Go Outdoors

Finally the weekend is here!  What better day than a Saturday afternoon to spend some time outdoors?  Weekends tend to be busy for young families, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in some fresh air time.

At some point today, do an outdoor activity.

This could be as simple as sipping your morning coffee on the patio.  Or you could plan this day in advance and head out on a camping trip or hike.  Be spontaneous and take the kids for a picnic at the park.  Yard work and gardening are great ways to be productive outdoors.  Even if the weather is cold, bundle yourself up and spend at least 10 – 15 minutes outdoors in the fresh air.  

Being outdoors is considered ecotherapy and it has amazing mood boosting benefits for everyone.  You should try to spend some time outside every single day.  And we’re talking about self care, so relax while you’re out there.  Don’t feel obligated to do something strenuous or physical.  Napping outdoors is amazing, just make sure you’re in the shade. 

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Sunday: Sleep

At the end of a long and busy week (or beginning of one, depending on how you look at it) there is one thing that is essential to mental health and self care.  You need to get some proper sleep.  Sleep deprivation is one of the most dangerous factors when it comes to mental health, so don’t ever underestimate it.

Make sure to get in some extra sleep today.

You can sleep in, take an afternoon nap or go to bed early.  Try your best to work your sleep schedule around whatever else you have going on today, but make it a priority.  If you’re struggling with insomnia, there are things you can do to help you sleep better.  Use a weighted blanket or try diffusing some essential oils while you sleep.

You’re going to need to keep your strength up to get through another week of motherhood and if you’re running on fumes, you won’t do any good.  Sleep is so incredibly important for maintaining our mental health, especially for moms suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety.  Sleeping in is not a luxury or reserved only for Mother’s Day – it’s a necessity!

Self Care Tracker
Click here to download a free printable PDF version of this self care tracker!

11 Postpartum Depression Triggers and How to Avoid Them

Postpartum depression symptoms can be triggered by different factors, making the recovery process much longer than it needs to be.

With a proper treatment plan, postpartum depression can go into remission.  But postpartum depression triggers are internal or environment factors that can cause symptoms to flare up again. These can continue to affect mothers for years after the postpartum period. 

It can be frustrating to battle symptoms of postpartum depression for years, and it might even feel like it will never go away.  Identifying your specific triggers can help you to avoid them, which means you’ll be less likely to experience a postpartum depression relapse.

Here are some of the most common postpartum depression triggers to watch out for.
11 Postpartum Depression Triggers and How to Avoid Them
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.
11 Postpartum Depression Triggers and How to Avoid Them 11 Postpartum Depression Triggers

Sleep Deprivation

Our brains need sleep and there isn’t an acceptable substitution for it.  No amount of caffeine, medications, diet changes or exercise can replicate what sleep does for our bodies.  If our brains don’t get the chance to reset each night, they don’t function very well during the day.

Sleep deprivation is an especially big factor for postpartum moms.  Babies have much shorter sleep cycles than adults do.  This means that a mother’s brain isn’t getting the chance to fully “reboot” because it’s constantly being interrupted by a hungry baby.  So it’s no surprise that sleep deprivation is one of the most common postpartum depression triggers. 

In order to get the most undisturbed sleep possible, enlist the help of your spouse, a family member or hire a postpartum doula for a night shift or two.  You may also want to work on getting your baby into a good sleep routine, which can help you avoid sleep deprivation in the long run. 

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is another one of the more common postpartum depression triggers.  In fact, many mothers report feeling more stressed about breastfeeding than they did about labor and delivery.  Breastfeeding can be a struggle and it can cause pain, frustration, shame and embarrassment.

Mothers who struggle with breastfeeding can feel guilty, unworthy, judged  or end up feeling resentful and full of regret. All of these feelings certainly contribute to symptoms of postpartum depression.  But some mothers found that breastfeeding eased their symptoms and helped them to bond with their babies.  Each woman’s experience is so different, but if this is a trigger for you, know that you are not alone.

Education can be key to successful breastfeeding.  While it’s promoted as “all-natural,” it doesn’t come naturally to the majority of mothers.  Consider hiring a lactation consultant, or take an online breastfeeding course from home.  If all else fails, know that it’s perfectly okay to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula for the sake of your mental health. 

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Pain

When we think of pregnancy and childbirth, we associate it with some form of pain.  This is often thought of as a rite of passage and many mothers spend a lot of time preparing for it.  But in some cases, the pain of childbirth can trigger unexpected feelings and suppressed memories. 

A painful delivery or recovery can be one of the first postpartum depression triggers, but pain is a trigger that can linger long after the recovery period.  When we experience pain in another form, such as menstrual cramping, back pain or migraines, it can trigger the symptoms of postpartum depression again.

This trigger can be especially difficult to avoid due to the fact that pain comes in so many different forms.  Identifying that pain is a trigger is a good first step.  Experiment with different pain treatment options, such as CBD oil, and try to deal with the root cause of any chronic pain, in order to avoid being triggered long term.

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Weight Fluctuations

The weight issue is another trigger that affects expectant and new mothers.  During pregnancy, a woman can gain 20 – 40 lbs in the span of 9 months.  And then immediately following childbirth, her body can look unrecognizable.  There will be pressure to lose all the extra weight as fast as possible.  She may also have to deal with a c-section scar, stretch marks, loose skin and sagging breasts.  

These weight and body changes can have a significant effect on our mental health.  Even if body image was not an issue for us prior to becoming a mother, postpartum depression can take a hit on our self esteem

While maintaining a healthy weight is important, embracing our new bodies is equally as important to keep weight changes from triggering postpartum depression symptoms.  

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Hormonal Imbalances

The fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy and in the postpartum period are completely normal.  They are responsible for the extreme mood swings, weepiness and other symptoms referred to as “the baby blues.”  It’s not unusual for hormones to also take all the blame when it comes to postpartum depression, however we know that there’s much more to it than that.  

Certain hormonal imbalances can be postpartum depression triggers.  Some women find their symptoms are triggered upon the return of their menstrual cycle or with another pregnancy.  Certain illnesses can also cause hormonal imbalances, such as thyroid problems or diabetes

There are plenty of natural ways to keep your hormone levels balanced to avoid a postpartum depression relapse, but always speak to your doctor first to identify the cause of the imbalance and come up with the right treatment plan. 

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Relationship Problems

Marriage and relationship problems can begin or get worse following the birth of a child and they are a major cause of stress and anxiety for both parents.  Postpartum mothers are extra sensitive, irritable and sometimes prone to rage.  They can be extremely difficult to communicate and reason with.

In addition to the lack of communication and mood swings, it can be really difficult to open up about all of these scary thoughts and feelings.  Instead, women tend to shut down, retreat away from their spouses, and have difficulty with intimacy.  

Despite how hard it might be, try your best to talk to your loved one about what you’re feeling.  Getting an official diagnosis may help you both to understand what’s going on.  Couples therapy is also a good option to help break down the barriers.

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Grief/Loss

Grief is a major depression trigger that can affect postpartum moms.  Pregnancy and welcoming a new baby are symbolized by joy, happiness and new life.  It can be shocking when these actions cause an opposite effect, but sometimes they do.  

A mother who previously suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or the loss of a child may be triggered by grief upon giving birth to a healthy baby.  Postpartum depression symptoms may also be triggered when a woman thinks of someone who previously passed away and isn’t present to meet their child.

Grief is a part of life and there’s really no avoiding it.  If you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one, talk about them openly.  Talk to your baby about them, look at an album full of pictures or share stories about them.  Try not to keep all that pain inside, and instead, memorialize the ones you have loved and lost. 

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Holidays/Anniversaries

Special occasions can actually be quite difficult for a mother with postpartum depression.  Certain dates or holidays might stir up traumatic memories that are postpartum depression triggers.  Plus, social anxiety and the desire to withdraw from conversation are common symptoms of postpartum depression. This makes it very hard to get together in large crowds, even if they are all people whom you love. 

As these dates approach, try to be proactive about your condition.  Take the day off work, scale down the festivities or plan a vacation instead.  Changing your memories about that day might be hard, but not impossible.

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Weather

Cold weather and rainy days can make anyone feel depressed but it’s much deeper than that.  Depression thrives when a person feels isolated.  And there’s nothing better at keeping a mom with a new baby locked up indoors than some bad weather.  Hot weather can also encourage a new or expecting mother to seek out the cool air conditioning instead of a muggy back yard.

All this time spent indoors can deprive a mother of enough fresh air and sunshine.  Combined with the other effects of seasonal affective disorder, the weather changes should never be underestimated as postpartum depression triggers.

Keeping a journal or mood tracker can help to identify if your postpartum depression symptoms are being triggered by the weather.  If they are, then there are several easy therapies and common practices you can do to help avoid it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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Financial Stress

Money problems are high on the list of depression triggers.  For parents, adjusting to the financial strain of adding a baby to the budget can be difficult.  In addition to the cost of diapers and daycare, a mother has to battle with the financial stress of staying at home instead of working – or feeling guilty for working instead of being home with baby.

Changes in finances are just one of the many overwhelming adjustments that a new mother will need to make, and it can be a big trigger for postpartum depression. 

One of the best ways to avoid this is to prepare for the financial stress prior to giving birth.  Meet with a financial advisor and make a plan for the future.  To save some money, research which baby products are worth investing in, and which ones you can probably do without.  And most importantly, stick to a budget to keep financial stress under control.

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Changes in Treatment

To help fight all of these different postpartum depression triggers there are several different treatment options available.  The variety of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications available means that you should be able to find one that works well for you, even if you have to try out a few first.  

But beware when making changes to your treatment plan.  Sudden changes to any of your medications can trigger symptoms of postpartum depression again.  The same goes for stopping therapy sessions or another supplemental form of treatment.  If money is the issue for stopping, you can find out more information about the cost of online therapy here.

Consider weaning yourself off slowly instead.  If you plan on switching to a different medication, slowly wean off of the first one and gradually begin the second one.  Obviously, speak to your doctor about any and all changes in your treatment plan.  And make sure to be open about the symptoms you are experiencing, so that you can find the treatment that works for you.


11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health

Moms are hardworking and give all of themselves to their children and families… but at what cost?

While these are qualities that everyone admires about mothers, they often come at a cost.  A mother who works endlessly to provide for the needs of her children can often forget to take care of herself.  A mother’s mental health, in addition to her physical well being, is so important because moms definitely cannot afford to take sick days.

Many mothers don’t even realize some of the things they are doing to harm their mental health.  It’s easy to fall into “survival mode”  and not think about anything other than just making it through to the end of the day.  Some of the things we do each day to survive, whether intentionally or not,  can have a negative impact on our mental health.

Here are a few things many moms do that can actually harm their mental health.
11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health
This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

Forget to Eat

This one is at the top of the list because it’s something all moms are guilty of. We get busy preparing meals for the kids and when we try to sit down to eat our own food, someone spills something, or wants seconds or needs ketchup.  Moms may have every intention of eating a full meal while it’s still hot, but it rarely ever happens.  And when it does, it probably consists of sandwich crusts with a side of half eaten fish sticks.  

Good nutrition is important for maintaining our mental health.  Many symptoms of depression and anxiety worsen when our bodies experience vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.  By forgetting to eat throughout the day, it’s easy to fall into the unhealthy habit of binge-eating at night, which can cause feelings of guilt and contribute to depression.

Don’t let bad eating habits harm your mental health.  Eat healthy and use supplements to make sure your body is getting enough energy.

Go to Bed Late

It’s no secret that moms are always tired. Raising kids is exhausting work, both physically and mentally, and it requires a good amount of sleep that we often don’t get.  But even the most sleep deprived mom is sometimes guilty of staying up way past bedtime.

After the kids are in bed is sometimes the only chance a mother gets to herself all day.  Whether it’s catching up on recorded TV shows,  scrolling through social media or just enjoying the peace and quiet, we never want it to end.   But staying up late is a habit that does a lot of harm to our mental health.

Schedule yourself some self-care time throughout the day if possible, so that when bed time comes around you’ll be ready for nothing else but sleep.

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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Ignore a Phone Call

Actual phone calls are becoming more of a rare occurrence in this modern world. Plus, everyone knows that the kids think “mom’s on the phone” translates to “scream as loud as you can.”  A text message is so much more convenient for a mother and it’s the preferred way of communicating.  So when our phone rings, it’s instinctual that we silence our phone and ignore the call.

Of course, it all depends on who the call is from, but if it’s a friend, don’t ignore it.  Talking to someone on the phone can be therapeutic and mean so much more than a simple text message.  Mental illness works by isolating us from others, so being able to connect with someone on a real, human level is important for keeping us sane.

The next time someone calls you, just answer it.

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Avoid Looking in Mirrors

This is kind of a weird one, and I bet you don’t even realize that you do it (or don’t do it).  If you’re a stay at home mom, chances are you probably haven’t changed out of your sweat pants in three days.  Maybe you forgot to brush your teeth this morning and you can’t even remember the last time you washed your hair.  You may avoid looking at yourself in the mirror for fear of what you might see.  

Avoiding a mirror means that we’ve created an idea of what we look like in our minds and it’s one that we feel unhappy with.  This idea can lead us down a path to poor self-esteem and lowered confidence levels, an environment in which mental illness thrives.

All you have to do to maintain your mental health is look at yourself in the mirror at least once a day, and find something that you love about what you see.

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Skip Doctor Appointments

The doctor, dentist, therapist, optometrist, chiropractor, etc. – we haul the kids around to regular appointments and yet procrastinate our own. Pregnancy means doctor appointments so frequently that we get to know the staff in our OB’s office on a personal basis.  We cared about those because they were important for the well being of our child, which is one of our biggest priorities.

I’m sure we can all come up with a hundred excuses as to why we do this.  It costs money we may not have and it’s hard to find time to attend these appointments without the kids.  But this act of self-sacrifice is dangerous for both our mental and physical health.

Try booking all your checkups for the year in advance so that you can make whatever arrangements you need to in order to attend them.

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Depend Too Much On Coffee/Wine/Advil

Addiction is not something that’s spoken about enough among mothers.  We tend to think of addicts as people living on the streets, wasting their lives away.  But addiction can happen to anyone, and at different levels of intensity.

Caffeine, alcohol and medications are common addictions among mothers.  And while it may not be at a point where they are destroying our lives, we’re unsure how we would function without them.  Relying too heavily on coffee or needing that glass of wine to help us relax at the end of the day are all forms of addiction.  Addictive behaviors are something we should try to avoid for better mental health.

Try to limit how much you depend on stimulants to make it through the day and choose healthier options that are better for your mental health.

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Pile Things in a Closet

You know which closet I’m talking about, everyone has one (or four) in their home that’s filled with junk. If you’re not sure where to put something, pile it in a closet until you get to it, right?  But you’ll probably only get to it when that closet is so full that you can’t even open it anymore.

Clutter can weigh heavily on our minds, destroying our mental health in the long run.  Knowing that we have a closet filled with junk, being unsure of what exactly is in there, and putting off cleaning it out can make us feel depressed and unproductive.  You don’t need to go full minimalist, but avoiding hidden clutter is a good place to start.

Spring cleaning time is nearly upon us, so make those junk-filled closets a priority.

Hygge Lifestyle
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Shop Only For the Kids

Not only are kids fun to shop for, but they also need a LOT of stuff.  They grow so fast that it’s hard to keep up with their sizes.  And if you’re like me, then you live vicariously through them and buy things that you would have loved to have as a kid.  But then what happens is that you have kids who look like children of celebrities and you get mistaken for their nanny.  

Remember what it was like before kids, when a little retail therapy was the perfect cure for a bad day?  It still works, but you need to actually focus on shopping for yourself.  Moms tend to feel guilty or selfish spending money on themselves, especially when they’re on a tight budget.  But splurging on something just for you is good for your mental health. [Start now and get $10 off a spring FabFitFun box using coupon code FAB10!]

So make a shopping trip alone and don’t you dare wander into the kids section!

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Avoid the Outdoors

Whether it’s the cold weather or your greasy hair keeping you indoors, it’s doing harm to your mental health. Our bodies need fresh air and sunshine, they literally cannot function properly without it.  If you think the trip from the house to the car and back again is enough, it’s not.

It’s not just about the fresh air, though, otherwise you could just open a window.  You need to talk to people, make eye contact, feel their touch and smile at them.  Find space to move your body – run, walk, swim, whatever makes you feel good.  A change of scenery and some time outdoors is the easiest way to improve your mood.

So make it a habit to get outdoors at least once a day, and twice on weekends.

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Put up with Negative People

You don’t need negative energy in your life, especially if your mental health is already suffering.  However, cutting people out of your life is easier said than done.  You don’t need to be rude to anyone, make a big deal out of it or even say anything at all.  Just avoid spending time with people who cause you to feel stressed.

It could be the mother of your child’s friend who constantly tries to “one-up” you.  Or maybe it’s that pessimistic family member who makes you worry about everything happening in the world.  Don’t feel obligated to socialize with people who’s negative attitude affects your mental health. 

Distance yourself from the negative people in your life, and surround yourself with those you love instead.

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Compare Themselves to Others

You will never experience peace of mind if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others.  This is especially common among the parenting community, despite the fact that all children and parenting styles are different.

It can be difficult on our mental health to see others doing well when we are clearly struggling.  But remember that people are more inclined to share their success stories, than they are their struggles.  This explains the stigma surrounding mental illness and the reason why so many mothers don’t talk about it.  

Speak openly about real motherhood and all the struggles that come with it.  And encourage others to do the same.

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11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health

11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health

11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health

The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better

Snoring is one of the worst enemies of a good night’s sleep, whether it’s you or your partner who’s to blame.

Recently, my husband and I had the chance to try out the new Hupnos anti-snoring mask, which combines technology with a sleep mask to help solve the snoring problem for good.

I’ve been married 10 years and my husband has always been a snorer.  In his case, it’s caused by a combination of allergies and other sinus problems, but there are several different causes of snoring.  He’s tried various remedies over the years, including strips, nose and mouth pieces, sinus medications, herbal remedies and even surgery to correct a deviated septum.

I, on the other hand, have only experienced snoring while pregnant and on rare nights when I crash extremely hard.  But for the most part, I am a stomach sleeper, which is bad for my back, but keeps me from snoring.  But sleep deprivation is one of the biggest triggers of postpartum depression for me, so a good night’s rest is extremely important to me as well.

Here’s what our experience with the Hupnos anti-snoring mask was like.
Hupnos, The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask
*This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. This post may contain affiliate and/or paid links.

About Hupnos

Hupnos is a sleep mask, just like one you would wear to block out light while you sleep.  It connects to an app via Bluetooth which analyzes your snoring to try to figure out what is causing it.  The app tracks and records your snoring, head position and breathing throughout the night.  After using it for a few nights in a row, you will be able to see a trend to determine whether or not the anti-snoring mask is working for you.

You can also change the settings so that the mask will intervene in the middle of the night if you are snoring.  Similar to when I punch my husband in the arm when he’s snoring, but slightly more delicate.  The mask will either vibrate if your head position is causing snoring, or it will shoot out a tiny puff of air pressure if your breathing is to blame.

Here’s a short video on how the mask works.

The Sleep Mask

The sleep mask looks modern and high-tech.  Upon first impression, it reminded me more of virtual reality goggles than a traditional sleep mask.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask

The mask is covered in a trendy heather gray and black microfiber fabric, so it’s silky soft but also lightweight with a bit of stretch.  It has an extra layer of foam padding across the top and bottom of the mask so that it rests comfortably against the cheeks and forehead.

To keep it on, the mask has a wide, stretchy microfiber strap that attaches with Velcro on both sides.  The very back of the strap is split to make it easier to adjust for the right fit.

My husband has a shaved head, so hair was not an issue for him, but I was worried about how the mask and Velcro would work with long hair, so I tried it myself.  Thankfully the Velcro closures did not disturb my hair in any way, or make it uncomfortable to sleep.  But I did find that the straps moved around quite often and slipped out of position on my head.

The part that was really different and almost a bit intimidating was the nose piece.  On the inside of the mask, there is a soft, black, silicone piece that you fit your nose onto.  Underneath are two “fan like” valves that remind me of something Darth Vadar would have worn.

The entire nose piece is attached by one snap on either side and can be removed and taken apart for cleaning.  At first, it seemed as though it was all going to fall apart after the first night but it’s actually much more sturdy that we thought.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Nose Valves

The Technology

With the mask comes a small card with some instructions and a paperclip.  The paperclip is used to initialize the mask.  You only need to do this one time when you first get it.  And then you need to plug it in and charge it.

I never would have thought by looking at the sleep mask that it contained the ability to “charge.”  It doesn’t look bulky or electronic or as though it even contains batteries.  There are no exposed wires or buttons of any kind.  It actually took me a while to locate the USB port (which is slightly hidden on the bottom left side of the nose piece FYI).  Once it’s plugged in, a little red light comes on, which will turn green when it’s fully charged.  And that’s how you know that it does, in fact, contain some technology.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: USB Charging

The Fit

Wearing the sleep mask throughout the entire night is probably the one thing that most people will struggle to adjust to.  It might be especially foreign to someone who’s never worn an eye mask, CPAP machine or another anti-snoring device to sleep.

In order to get a good feel of what it was like, I did try the mask myself for a few nights.

Both my husband and I agreed that the mask, itself, was fairly comfortable once you got it on.  The silicone nose piece fit us each properly (and we have very different sized noses) and didn’t feel like it was restricting breathing.  The straps didn’t dig in or itch.  And the microfiber padding provided a nice cushion on the forehead.

I personally did not like the two harder plastic pieces on either side of the silicone nose piece that slightly pushed into my cheeks.  They didn’t hurt but I was constantly aware that they were there, which got annoying after a while.  My husband didn’t seem bothered by them.

Due to the product being brand new and the combination of fabrics used, he did complain about the smell.  I suppose when something is so close to your nose, the smell is magnified.  But I simply added a couple drops of essential oils to the outside of the sleep mask and problem solved (bonus – it helps induce sleep!)

We both found that the mask did tend to slip out of position throughout the night as we slept.  I found it even more frustrating because, like I said, I’m a stomach sleeper, so it was near impossible for me to find a comfortable sleeping position while wearing the mask.  My husband is a hardcore back sleeper (hence the snoring) but he still found that it slipped off the back of his head.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Interior View

The App

The app is the part of this anti-snoring mask that takes it to the next level.  The free Hupnos app is available for download on iOS and Android and it’s fairly simple to use.

As soon as you create your account and log in, there’s a big timer that says start.  In the top right, next to the icon of the sleep mask, it should show whether or not your sleep mask is connected to Bluetooth.  If it’s not, you can test your mask in the settings.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Hupnos App Record Screen
In the top left of the record screen, you can change the mode that the mask operates in.

It defaults to Easy Mode, which just means the mask and app will record your sleep patterns but not apply any intervention to stop you from snoring.

By switching it to Basic Mode, the mask will vibrate slightly when your head position is causing snoring and it will emit air pressure if your breathing is causing snoring.

In Advanced Mode, you can adjust the vibration level (if you find the buzzing is waking you up) as well as change your default head angle and disable or adjust the air pressure.  And finally, you can adjust the delay time to start the recording (because not everyone falls asleep in 20 minutes).

Before you hit start, you also have the option to add in any factors or remedies that may affect your snoring that night.  For example, if you were drinking heavily or have a cold, or if you took some sleeping pills or applied some essential oils.  These are purely for tracking purposes so when you review your results, you’ll be able to see how they affected you.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Hupnos App Results Screen

Once you wake up and hit stop on your recording, you’ll be able to review your results for the night.  You can listen to the recorded audio of your snoring and see how many times the Hupnos anti-snoring mask had to buzz you to change position or apply air pressure.

Using the anti-snoring mask on a regular basis over the course of a week or more will give you information in the trends section so that you can keep track of whether your snoring has improved over time.


Overall Opinion

It’s a really cool gadget with a big claim.  I believe that the vibrations and air pressure of the Hupnos sleep mask COULD subconsciously train your body to sleep in the optimal position to eliminate snoring permanently. I also think that the app’s various methods of recording and tracking your sleep and snoring patterns is a great way to improve sleep overall.

However, it would take some self-discipline and effort on the part of the wearer, as the sleep mask does not do all of the work for you.  It does take some time to get used to wearing the mask and you would have to wear it consistently every night in order to see real improvements.

The constant vibrating and puffs of air pressure are also not for everyone.  A lighter sleeper might find them too bothersome.  Those suffering from anxiety may also find the sleep mask to be too restricting to wear, or dislike the sensation of being buzzed without any control.  And stomach or side sleepers may have a hard time getting comfortable while wearing the mask.

But if you’re serious about training your body to stop snoring, and willing to put in the effort to make it work, then the Hupnos high-tech anti-snoring mask is definitely worth a try!  

To learn more – visit https://hupnos.com/

You can order the Hupnos anti-snoring sleep mask on Indiegogo.

Hupnos, The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask

Hupnos, The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia 1
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Looking After Number One: Self Care Strategies for Moms

Moms tend to forget that they are number one.

When you’re a mom, it’s very easy to devote all your time and energy to parenting. Children have a lot of needs, especially when they’re younger.  And although their needs tend to be time sensitive and consuming, using the right self care strategies can ensure that you make yourself a priority.  It’s important to be selfless, but it’s also crucial that you find the time to look after number one.

Here are some helpful self-care strategies that moms should remember.

Self Care Strategies for Moms

*This is a collaborative post*
*This post contains affiliate/paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


Managing stress

Stress is a very common problem faced by parents. Sleep deprivation, having to be on the go all the time and feeling like you never have enough hours in the day can all increase the risk of stress. Other factors, such as relationship worries, money problems and trying to balance work and parenthood may also play a part.

If you’re struggling with stress, the one of the best self care strategies is to try and work out exactly what is bothering you and causing you to feel on edge. Often, there are practical solutions.

Take the example of managing your money. If you’re finding it tough to get by from month to the next, or you’re trying to figure out ways to boost your credit score to get a mortgage, or you’re attempting to pay off debt, there are steps you can take. It’s useful to see a financial adviser, to start budgeting, and to use services like my fico to monitor your credit score.

There are myriad causes of stress, but if you let them take hold of you, even the most innocuous-seeming problem can spiral into something all-consuming. Learn to spot signs of stress, and try and manage it before it gets worse. Everyone is different, but popular self-care strategies include exercise, meditation, and creative activities.

Postpartum Depression Self Care
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Taking time out

It’s no lie that parenting is a full-time job. Even when kids are fast asleep, as a parent you’re still thinking about them and probably worrying about them too. Children do take up a lot of time, but there’s always room in the day for a bit of ‘me time’ too.

Make sure you take advantage of breaks.  Schedule in half an hour to do yoga, an hour to catch up with friends or a night off from time to time to go out with your partner. It’s so important to be able to have that time out to recharge your batteries, relax, and connect with others without the kids in tow.

We all love our children, but there’s no harm in having a breather now and again.  Scheduling some alone time is one of the most important self care strategies a mom can do.

Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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Doing what makes you happy

When you become a parent, you tend to focus on what makes your kids happy, but try not to lose sight of what perks you up or brings a smile to your face.  None of these self care strategies even matter unless they’re bringing you joy.

It’s crucial to work on your mental health and to find time to pursue hobbies and interests, engage in social activities and enjoy time doing things you love. Whether you like reading, painting, writing, dancing, or running, give yourself time to do what makes you content.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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As a mom, you probably spend most of your time looking after your children.  While they may feel like your number one priority, remember that you are still responsible for taking care of yourself too.  And you will only be able to take care of them if you also take care of yourself.


My Self Care Workbook - A Free Printable PDF
click to download

12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the Sleep Deprived Mom

Moms who are sleep deprived are normally less than enthusiastic about celebrating holidays and special events.

You can make them special by getting her a gift that will help beat sleep deprivation.  Sleep deprivation can cause physical and mental problems for mothers, whether it’s caused by a new baby, postpartum depression, anxiety, or just the normal duties of motherhood.  These specially selected gift ideas for the sleep deprived mom are sure to make a difference for her.

If a mom in your life is suffering from sleep deprivation, consider one of these gift ideas to help her get a better night’s rest.
12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the Sleep Deprived Mom
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.
Gift Ideas for Sleep Deprived Moms Gift Ideas for Sleep Deprived Moms

A New Mattress

Nectar
Nectar Sleep

Go big or go home, am I right?  Nothing says sleep like a brand new comfortable mattress.  But this can be a tough one to give as a gift.  It’s a really personal purchase that normally requires a person to try out several different ones before buying.

But times are changing.  No longer do you need to go into a showroom and lie down on several different mattresses that all feel the same.  You don’t need to spend a fortune or commit to an expensive purchase that you can’t return.

Mattress manufactures have gotten smarter.  They’ve created beds that conform to fit us, rather than force us to choose one among many.  And instead of putting all their effort into designing an entire line of different mattresses, they’ve combined their efforts into designing one perfect mattress.  And because of this – they guarantee that it will be the best mattress you’ve ever had.  They’ll even refund you up to a year after your purchase if you’re not happy.

With free shipping and that kind of promise, this mattress tops my list as the #1 perfect gift for the sleep deprived mom.
Check it out here: runningintriangles.com/Nectar

A Weighted Blanket

COOLMAX® Weighted Blanket Light Grey
Weighting Comforts

If you haven’t already  heard, weighted blankets are the newest all-natural cure for anxiety and insomnia.

There’s not much to them. They’re blankets filled with beads or pellets and come in a variety of different exteriors such as cotton, flannel, fleece or microfiber.  The idea is that using one to sleep will embrace the body in a state of continuous, light pressure, which can stimulate the nervous system and help fight insomnia.  The benefits are similar to that of a deep tissue massage.

There are tons of companies selling weighting blankets now, and you can even DIY one.  But if you’re looking for gift ideas for the sleep deprived mom, then consider a weighted blanket that gives a little deeper.

Weighting Comforts is a company that sells weighted blankets made by international refugees.  They’ve partnered with the non-profit organization Sew for Hope to have their blankets made.  So you can rest assured that when you purchase one of these weighted blankets, you are also contributing to the future and well being of others.  What could be a more perfect holiday gift than that?

Check out their variety of weighted blankets here: runningintriangles.com/WeightingComforts

CBD Honey Sticks

CBD Honey Sticks - Honey Infused CBD 10mg (100 Pack)
Diamond CBD

CBD oil is still a bit of a controversial product, mostly because of it’s association with cannabis.  But CBD products from reputable companies are produced from the hemp plant, and not the marijuana plant, so it contains zero amounts of THC – which is the stuff that causes a high.  For more information, check out this post from Remedy Review.

Similar to other all-natural essential oils, CBD offers a ton of benefits to those suffering from pain or anxiety.  It comes in a variety of different options, from oils to edibles.

These CBD honey sticks from Diamond CBD offer a low dose (10 mg) of CBD in a stick of honey, so they’re great for mixing into a cup of tea or eating directly.  Or you can check out all the different CBD options from VerifiedCBD, which offers international shipping and will let you know which products you can (or cannot) get in your country.  CBD can help treat symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety that can cause insomnia, so that mom can sleep better and feel better.


Some Comfy Sleepwear

Zulily

Comfortable sleepwear is a mom’s best friend… even if she’s not getting much sleep.  One of the best gift ideas for the sleep deprived mom, whether she’s newly postpartum, a  stay-at-home mom or a working mom, is something comfortable she can slip into at bedtime.

While this may not be true for all women, many find sleeping with pajama pants on difficult after having a baby.  Whether it’s from a c-section scar, stretch marks or extra weight around the middle, our bodies change postpartum.  A nightgown is much more comfortable for that reason.

One of my favorite places to shop for clothing, including sleepwear, is on Zulily.  You can find pieces of great quality for a good deal and the selection is far greater than what you could find in a crowded mall.

Check out some more brands and designs here: runningintriangles.com/Zulily

A Few Shower Steamers

TanyasEarthworks on Etsy

Forget bath bombs.  Moms rarely have time for a shower, never mind a bath.  Instead, opt for shower steamers this year so that she can still get in all the relaxing spa-like benefits of a shower, without the time consuming restraints of a bath.

Hot showers before bed are a great way to wind down and can help ease symptoms of anxiety and insomnia for a better night’s sleep.  Add in some sleep-inducing essential oils and they make a great gift or stocking stuffer.

This gift set from Etsy shop TanyasEarthworks comes with six shower steamers in a variety of scents. 
Or, check out this 10 pack of lavender shower steamers from Canadian Etsy shop Wildfire Aromatics.

An Essential Oil Gift Set

Essential Oil Diffuser Kit
Rocky Mountain Oils

This list of gift ideas would not be complete without some essential oils.  The benefits of essential oils for sleep and relaxation are some that I can personally vouch for.  A variety of essential oils is one of the top gift ideas for the sleep deprived mom.

For mothers who are sleep deprived, self care can make a huge difference in their overall mood and quality of life.  Granted, it’s not always an easy thing to fit in.  With the use of a diffuser, moms can benefit from the healing power of essential oils quickly and effortlessly.

This diffuser kit from Rocky Mountain Oils comes with a cute but powerful little diffuser plus six popular essential oils and makes the perfect starter kit for any sleep deprived mom.  Or you can opt for some essential oils designed specifically to promote sleep.

Check out this set and others here: runningintriangles.com/RockyMountainOils

Some Reading Material

The Sleep Revolution
Chapters.Indigo

The age old practice of reading in bed is still a good one.  Except that now, we scroll on our phones, thinking that it has the same effect.  News flash – it’s not even close!

The bright light of the screen plus the negative effects of comparing ourselves to our social media friends means even worse consequences for the already sleep deprived mother.

So buy her a book. An actual paper book with a positive and interesting topic, such as The Sleep Revolution from Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post.  Not only will she be able to focus her brain on something useful, but she’ll learn all kinds of brilliant information about sleep and how important it is.

Click here to buy and read reviews about The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington.

If you’re looking to give a sleep deprived mom a little laugh, then check out this book too.


A Multipurpose Eye Mask

farmerandfashionista on Etsy

You know what suffers the most due to sleep deprivation?  The eyes.  The windows to our souls can be bloodshot, dry and puffy when we don’t get enough sleep.  Sleep deprivation can also cause headaches, migraines and sinus problems.

And how do you treat all those different problems?  Heat is great for headaches and sinus problems, but cold is better for redness and puffiness.

This multipurpose eye mask from Etsy shop FarmerandFashionista does all of that and more.  It’s made with organic materials and it can be used as a weighted eye mask as well, which can help to ease the symptoms of sinus problems and headaches.

Find out all about it here: Organic Weighted Sleep Mask by farmerandfashionista.

If it’s snoring that causing the sleep deprivation, then check out this cool high-tech sleep mask and app that helps train the body to stop snoring.

Hupnos, The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask
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A Sound Machine

HoMedics Sleep Therapy Machine
HoMedics Deep Sleep Therapy Machine

White noise is a useful way to drown out an overactive brain.  Many new mothers can’t fall asleep because they’re always listening to hear the baby cry.  Or perhaps it’s the anxious or intrusive thoughts that are filling her head at night.

A white noise machine is a great tool for helping to reduce stress and drown out background noises so she get better sleep. 

This Sleep Therapy Machine from HoMedics is actually a bit more than your average sound machine.  It has a patent-pending deep sleep therapy program that uses a specific combination of sounds to keep you sleeping all night long.

Click here to find out more and purchase The HoMedics Deep Sleep Sleep Therapy Machine.

An Extra Special Water Bottle

VitaJuwel Wellness ViA Glass Water Bottle
VitaJuwel Wellness ViA Glass Water Bottle

Okay, first off, hydration…  super important for everyone, especially the sleep deprived.  I don’t think I even need to go into detail about drinking enough water, because we all know it’s important.

But THIS water bottle is extra special.  It combines the important hydration factor with the healing power of gemstones such as amethyst and quartz.  It’s said that immersing gemstones in water can actually increase their potency and charge the water with negative ions to boost serotonin.

Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t – but isn’t this the most beautiful water bottle you’ve ever seen?  Of all the gift ideas for the sleep deprived mom, this is one of the most beautiful AND useful.

Find out more and buy The ViA Glass Water Bottle here.

The Perfect Tea Mug

Chapters.Indigo Mood Mugs
Instagram @running_in_triangles

Tea makes a great gift for the sleep deprived mom.  It’s important to choose an herbal, non-caffeinated one, but the varieties are basically endless.  A tea that contains Valerian Root will help to induce sleep naturally.  You can also go with the ever popular Chamomile tea.  

You can find tea and mug gift sets almost everywhere, probably because they make such great gifts.  But the trick to making it a special, personalized gift is to choose the perfect mug.

Indigo has a great selection of different mugs available, check them out here!

All Natural Skin Care

TOHI by Rocky Mountain Oils

Our skin truly suffers when we don’t get enough sleep.  And moms are infamous for not having a proper skin care routine, so a set of skin care products will be a welcome gift for the sleep deprived mom.

The TOHI set by Rocky Mountain Oils is completely natural and infused with healing essential oils.  It’s not the typical set you’d be able to find in drugstores.

The TOHI starter kit comes with a muscle rub, cleanser and lotions for the face and body – but most importantly, it comes with the amazing Night’s Rest lotion.  This hand and body lotion contains some of the best essential oils for promoting sleep, as well as ingredients to hydrate and moisturize the skin.  It’s one step up from your average skin care routine, and it will encourage her to practice regular self care.

Find out more about the TOHI skin care line here: runningintriangles.com/TOHI

Bonus Gift Idea: A Spa Day!

What sleep deprived mom wouldn’t love a spa day this winter?  Make it easy on yourself and on her by getting her a SpaFinder gift card.  She can choose from thousands of locations, book exactly which treatments she wants and it never, ever expires so she can procrastinate it until the kids are in college – but it will still be waiting for her…

P.S. You can buy one online and print or e-mail it so it’s the perfect last-minute gift! 

Quick – click here and make her dreams come true!!!
Why All Moms Need to Spend the Day at Thermea
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Pure, undisturbed sleep is one of the best gift ideas for the sleep deprived mom any time of the year.  So take the kids out for the day and just let her sleep.  It’s amazing what an extra 8 hours of sleep can do to improve our moods and help us function better.  For more information on the dangers of sleep deprivation for new moms, check out some of these posts.


Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia: 15 Ways to Get Better Sleep

The postpartum period is often synonymous with sleep deprivation…

But it’s usually caused by a hungry newborn. 

If that baby isn’t causing all kinds of sleep disturbances and mom still isn’t sleeping, then it could be a case of postpartum anxiety insomnia.  Many mothers find themselves unable to sleep due to racing thoughts, unreasonable worries, and the inability to calm their body and mind at night.

Postpartum anxiety is a common condition that can affect a mother’s life in several different ways.  She may experience social anxiety and avoid leaving the house or interacting with others.  Anxiety can also manifest as anger and cause postpartum rage.  Often, mothers experience a combination of postpartum depression and anxiety.  But sleep deprivation can exacerbate all of these symptoms and cause even worse ones.  There are several ways to treat postpartum anxiety insomnia naturally and stop things from getting out of control.

Here are 15 ways to get a better night’s sleep for moms who are suffering from postpartum anxiety insomnia.
Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.  Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

1. Create a Routine

Just like sleep training children, a bedtime routine is important for encouraging proper sleep.  Going to bed at the same time each night and performing a few routine tasks will help train your brain and body to know when it’s time to go to sleep.  Rewiring the brain altogether is one of the best ways to help fight off postpartum anxiety insomnia.

Keep in mind that it may take a while for your body to adjust to the routine.  Depending on how bad your postpartum anxiety is, it could take months before you can regularly get a good night’s sleep.  And since postpartum anxiety can be a life-long battle, you should be prepared to make your bedtime routine permanent.

Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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2. Unplug

Social media is a huge contributor to postpartum anxiety insomnia.  Scrolling through Facebook or watching Netflix before bed will only fuel your racing brain with more needless worries and thoughts.  Make a plan to unplug from technology at least 1 hour before bed.  Turn off the TV and switch your phone to Do Not Disturb mode so that notifications aren’t disturbing you in the middle of the night.


3. Do Some Light Exercise

Don’t freak out – you don’t really have to exercise… I know it sounds exhausting.  The last thing I want to do after taking care of kids all day is exercise.  However, exercise has been known to have a ton of sleep-inducing properties.  So, if you feel like going for a run on the treadmill or doing some yoga, go for it, because it will definitely help fight off postpartum anxiety insomnia.

But if the thought of “working out” is causing you even more anxiety, then save it for the morning instead.  You can still get a serotonin boost by doing a few simple stretches.  Stretch your neck and shoulders, bend over and touch your toes or sit against a wall for a few seconds.  Postpartum anxiety causes a lot of tension in the muscles and stretching those out before bed will help you feel more relaxed.


4. Take a Hot Shower

A hot shower is a great way to calm down before bed.  The steam and heat combined with the gentle massage of the water beating down will relax the muscles and help open up the lungs.  A massaging shower head is a bonus but not necessary.  This can be especially welcome if you’re feeling over touched at the end of the day.

Don’t feel obligated to do anything else except just stand under the water and enjoy it.  A hot bath can work in the same way, if you have the time.  Throw in some Epsom salts for an added boost of magnesium to help relax sore muscles, fight off depression and induce sleep.

5 Things to Do When You're Feeling Over Touched
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5. Sip Some Tea

There are several herbal teas that can help fight postpartum anxiety insomnia.  Chamomile and Valerian Root are the most popular bedtime teas and for good reason.  Green tea, ginger tea and other blends are all great too!  Experiment with different flavors and combinations to find out what works.  Even some plain hot water with a slice of lemon will help you detox before bed.  As long as it’s hot and caffeine-free, it will help to calm and soothe your body from the inside.


6. Meditate

Meditation is not for everyone.  But if you’re dealing with a case of postpartum anxiety insomnia, it might help to try to cleanse your brain of the millions of thoughts floating around in there.

There are actually a few different ways to meditate. You can try using a guided meditation app to help you get started.  It’s also easy to practice self-guided meditation by setting a timer for a few minutes and sitting quietly as you work on eliminating all the thoughts from your brain.  Meditating before bed is a way to manage your anxiety before your head hits the pillow, so that once it does – you will actually be able to sleep.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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7. Invest in a Good Mattress

Sometimes it’s not the postpartum anxiety alone that is causing insomnia.  A good night’s sleep begins with comfort and your mattress has a lot to do with it.  But mattress shopping can be really tricky (I know this because I used to sell them for a living!)  Lying down on a mattress in a showroom for a few minutes is very different than sleeping on it all night long.  You can try several different ones but eventually they all start to feel the same.  And then, once you get that mattress home with you – what happens if you don’t like it after a few nights – or worse, after a few months?

The key to making an important purchase such as a mattress is to look for one that will guarantee you a good night’s sleep.  Unlike big box stores, mattress companies that sell their products directly will offer a better satisfaction guarantee and stand behind their product.   The Nectar mattress, for example, offers a lifetime warranty, free shipping and is the only one I have seen that offers a free trial for an entire year!

If you’re not sure of whether or not your mattress is contributing to your postpartum anxiety insomnia, it’s worth trying out a new mattress to see if anything changes.  Try a Nectar mattress for an entire year plus get $125 off using my affiliate link.


8. Use a Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are all the rage right now.  They have proven benefits to reduce symptoms of anxiety and help improve sleep.  The best part is, they’re a simple tool that doesn’t require anything other than just cuddling up and getting comfortable.

The simple science behind a weighted blanket is that it creates a sensation of safety, similar to being hugged or held.  The heavier the blanket, the more it stimulates your skin and sends messages to your brain that you are safe and protected.  This allows the brain to stop worrying and rest for a while.

Consider purchasing one through Weighted Comforts.  Not only do they offer a wide variety at competitive prices, but they’re also sewn by refugees living in the U.S.

12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the Sleep Deprived Mom
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9. Grow a potted plant

There are several plants that encourage a proper sleep environment.  Having a potted plant on your nightstand or anywhere in your bedroom can purify the air and rid it of any toxins or negative energy.  Some plants with scented flowers, such as lavender and jasmine, can actually induce sleep.  This is a beautiful and easy way to encourage your mind to feel at ease enough to sleep.

Don’t feel intimidated if you don’t have much of a green thumb.  Start with one plant and research it to find out how to take care of it.  Many houseplants are low maintenance, so as long as you don’t completely neglect them, they will thrive.  Be warned though, growing houseplants can become a very addicting hobby…

16 Ways Ecotherapy is Good for Moms
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10. Start sniffing

Using scents is an easy way to transition the brain into a relaxed state.  The National Sleep Foundation even suggests using scents to help you get a better night’s sleep.  In order to battle a case of postpartum anxiety insomnia, you should consider everything that you are inhaling in your bedroom – from dust and allergens that could be trapped in your carpet or mattress, to the fabric softener you use on your sheets.

There are several different ways to incorporate scents to help your mind and body relax so that you can not only fall asleep… but stay asleep!  Scents that are good for relaxation and inducing sleep include Lavender, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Valerian and Frankincense, but the list goes on.  You can try these in an essential oil (either a roll-on or in a diffuser), a linen spray, candles or scented satchets.  You can even purchase Lavender-scented fabric softener to use on your sheets!


11. Try some background noise

One of the biggest problems with postpartum anxiety insomnia is the brain being unable to stop spiraling at nighttime.  Something worth trying is distracting the brain through the use of background noise, such as gentle instrumental music or white noise like rain sounds.  You could purchase a sound machine, but there are also several white noise playlists on Spotify.  There are even apps that you can download that have a large selection of different sounds as well as other sleep aid features.


12. Don’t be afraid of the dark

Our brains are hardwired to associate sleep with darkness.  With postpartum anxiety insomnia, it’s easy to look around the room and find a hundred other things to worry or think about.  Reduce the amount of outside stimulation by making your bedroom completely dark.  You can install blackout blinds or wear a sleep mask.  Eliminate anything that your eyes can focus on, so cover up the blinking light on the TV and turn your digital clock around.  If you start to feel anxious in the darkness, remind yourself that you can turn on a light whenever you want to, and that you are in complete control.


13. Keep a bedside journal

It’s true that we often think of the most important (or completely unimportant) things while we’re lying in bed.  The thought of possibly forgetting about it in the morning can cause a certain level of anxiety and disrupt our sleep.

Writing in a journal or worry workbook before bed can help to eliminate some of the extra thoughts in our heads, but often we have a brainstorm as we’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep.  So keep a journal or notepad and pen beside your bed so that when these seemingly important thoughts come to mind in the middle of the night, we can write them down, go back to sleep and know they will be there in the morning.

Intrusive Thoughts
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14. Increase melatonin levels

Melatonin is a sleep-regulating hormone that is naturally produced by our bodies.  For a woman with postpartum anxiety, those hormone levels could be out of balance causing the insomnia.  While melatonin supplements are readily available, they run the risk of causing side effects, just as with any other drug.  They could also cause problems if a mother is on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds or breastfeeding.  If you plan to start a melatonin supplement for postpartum anxiety insomnia, always check with your doctor first.  However, there are ways of increasing your melatonin production naturally.

A lot of it has to do with diet.  Foods that are rich in magnesium can help your body produce more melatonin.  Pineapples, oranges, bananas and tart cherries are also rich in natural melatonin and make great bedtime snacks.

Months of waking up several times in a night to feed the baby or go to the bathroom during pregnancy, etc., can cause your natural melatonin production to slow down.  A change in seasons and increased hours of darkness can also have an effect. You can help correct this by exposing yourself to bright, direct sunlight during the day, and sleeping in complete darkness at night.


15. Track sleep patterns

The best way to know if you are truly suffering from postpartum anxiety insomnia is to keep track of your sleeping patterns.  Tracking your sleep habits for a week, or a month or longer is a great way to help you identify what is keeping you from getting the best night’s sleep possible.  You can write them down in a sleep tracker log or  download an app that will track your sleeping patterns for you.

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Sleep deprivation is very dangerous to a mother’s mental health.

If you can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep then you’re at risk for suffering from postpartum rage, intrusive thoughts and a variety of physical symptoms as well.   Consider trying cognitive behavior therapy if something specific is keeping you awake at night.  But if you’ve tried everything you can and still find yourself suffering from insomnia, make sure to speak to your doctor.

For more information about the effects of sleep deprivation, check out this guide from Yoo Health.

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia: 15 Ways to Get Better Sleep Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia: 15 Ways to Get Better Sleep

4 Ways to Improve Sleep for New Moms

Sleep deprivation can have a dreadful impact on a new mom’s mental health.

This is why sleep for new moms is just as important as it is for new babies.  Between round the clock feedings and pain from postpartum recovery, sleep for new moms may seem impossible and often, it is.  But when you consider the detrimental effects it could have on a woman’s mental health, then sacrificing other things in an effort to improve sleep for new moms is worth it.

This guest post from writer, Sarah Cummings, details some adjustments that can be made to make sure that new moms are getting the sleep they desperately need.  

4 Ways to Improve Sleep for New Moms

*This post may contain affiliate links.  This is a guest post and all advice and opinions are those of the author.


Sleep is a necessity and we have to get enough to function properly. This is something parents will be praying they can achieve when the newborn arrives on the scene!

New parents are more than likely going to lose sleep with the change in sleep patterns and disturbances in the night, etc. However, with the right structure and routines in place, you can ensure that as a new mom you’re enjoying the best sleep you can in both the short-term and in the long-run.

How much sleep is enough?

The National Sleep Foundation states that newborn babies should sleep between 12 and 18 hours each day, whereas the average adult needs to accumulate between seven and nine hours each evening.

This might seem like an unattainable number as a new parent, but this is the recommended daily amount to function normally, so it’s best to get the good measures in place as soon as you can so that you can all enjoy sound slumber!

Download a sleep tracker to keep track of how much sleep you’re getting!

You can simply start by following these top tips on the best bedtime habits that will help you and baby:

Re-associate yourself with sleep and know its worth

Remember the days when you used to wake up feeling fresh as a daisy? Yeah, well, those days might have changed a little now that you have a little one in the house, but that’s not to say that you can’t get close to it with the right ideas in place.

You know when you’ve had a good sleep because everything you do seem like much less effort and you have the energy to deal with what life throws at you.

It’s important to bear in mind that there’s not a healthy way of replacing sleep; there’s only so many chamomile teas you can have before bed! The benefits of sleep are there for all to see, and one of your first jobs should be to remove the thought process that cutting out anything other than what you need to be healthy is acceptable.

So, while you’re teaching your baby the good habits of restful sleep, you should be endorsing and reiterating this with yourself too. Ensure that you practice what you preach and you will see the upside to being well-rested. It might be easier said than done, but practice makes perfect.

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Create a bedtime routine to look forward to

Okay, so, bedtime is a really good way for both you and your baby to start to take things down a few notches. After the hectic day you’ve been having, now start thinking about the things you need to do to send the right signals to the brain that sleep is on the horizon.

Humans have a built-in love for routine and the earlier that you can instill this routine with your child, the better, as they will sense that the routine is not there once they have it and the chances are they will make you aware of it!

A good thing to do to help you relax and have baby unwind too is to set aside some time in which you relax together in a tranquil environment. Young children certainly need this type of thing in their lives and you’ll be able to indulge too.

You know when your little one is tired and ready for bed, and this might not have been your bedtime a few years ago, but it might as well be now, so, go with it because you’re going to be waking up earlier than before anyway. Sleep is vital, so get what you can; you never know, your precious one might even give you those hallowed seven hours!

How to Start Sleep Training The Moment You Bring Baby Home
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Sleep when your baby sleeps

As we mentioned, if you take the gift your child gives you to sleep, grab it with both hands. Any experienced parent will confirm with you that the key to fending off postpartum sleep deprivation is to get some shut-eye when your baby dozes off.

If your baby takes a nap, put everything else on hold and take a well-earned nap too. there’s nothing that can’t wait, apart from a waking baby that needs attention, of course.

Laundry, phone calls, checking social media, washing up, catch up on episodes of your favorite Netflix series; it can all wait, because sleep has a vital role in keeping you healthy and defends against the risk of sleep deprivation.  

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Don’t disregard the baby blues

Lack of sleep can bring on changes in your mood, and new moms are often at risk of what’s known as baby blues or the more serious postpartum depression.  If you are feeling some of these symptoms, we advise you to seek the advice of your doctor so that you can deal with the problem before it gets any worse.

6 Warning Signs That it's More Than The Baby Blues
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Author Bio:

Hello! My name’s Sarah Cummings. I’ve been involved in writing informative and helpful guides for the last five years now. Originally, my passion to help others was the overriding factor to become a writer, but now I feel like I’m learning more everyday too!

My love of exercise has always been a big part of how I lead my life, and I find it helps with lots of things, including sleep. I’m an advocator of promoting sleep and how it can be the difference between living a good, fulfilled life and an unhappy one.

I have had the good fortune to have a long and spiritual background in yoga too, and I feel as though this pairs perfectly with my passion for healthy eating and leading an active lifestyle.

I enjoy learning and coming up with new ways to develop my writing so that I can help others to grow and learn too. When I have a spare morning, you can catch me gazing at sunrises from different places on the planet!

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