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.
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Moms who are sleep deprived are normally less than enthusiastic about the holidays.
You can make the holidays and the rest of the year special by getting her a gift that will help beat sleep deprivation. Whether it’s caused by a new baby, postpartum depression or 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.
*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.
A New Mattress
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.
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 Comfortsis 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?
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.
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.
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.
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 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 gift basket from Rocky Mountain Oils comes with a cute but powerful little diffuser, a variety of essential oils, body butter and some Epsom salts for soaking in all the depression-fighting benefits of magnesium.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
The gift of pure sleep is one of the best gift ideas for the sleep deprived mom this holiday season. So take the kids out for the day and just let her sleep. For more information on the dangers of sleep deprivation for new moms, check out some of these posts.
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 stillisn’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.
*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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
*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!
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 manychamomile 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.
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.
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 andready 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!
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.
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.
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!