If you were not getting enough sleep before having kids, it likely hasn’t become easier since. No matter what stage or situation you are in, you worry about your children. When you have kids, your priorities change, and you may find yourself ruminating more often before you fall asleep each night. Poor sleep can interfere with your way of life. Take stock of the signs you may need more sleep that can be noticed by everyone around you.
Your appearance may suffer if you’re not getting enough sleep. While general signs of a lack of self-care could be a sign of depression or another health condition, you may need to get more sleep at night to improve the look of your eyes and skin. The most common physical signs of sleep deprivation are:
Dark undereye circles
Red, puffy eyes
Being Dependent on Your Alarm Clock
No one enjoys being startled awake—especially mothers of newborns. Most people need at least seven hours each night, and if you’re a friend of the snooze button, you may require more. Try to find your sweet spot by going to bed half an hour earlier each night until you wake up feeling refreshed. Some chores can wait until tomorrow.
Of course, no one likes lying awake at night either. It is normal to take 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep, but if something—such as pain or the temperature of the room—is causing you to stay awake, you may need a new mattress. Your mattress can greatly affect your sleep, and the same style doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
Getting Sick Often
Good sleep keeps your immune system in check. If you experience periods of high stress followed by dips in your general health—such as a cold or triggers to a preexisting health condition—it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep. One of the simplest things you can do to improve your immune system and avoid illness is to get good sleep.
Drinking Excess Caffeine
A cup of joe is a good way to begin the day. If you’re a postpartum mother who loves Starbucks or your local coffee shop, you’ve likely been looking forward to the day when you can get back to your favorite drinks. During the months of your pregnancy, your tolerance to caffeine may have decreased, so drinking the same amount as you did before you were pregnant may be adding to what is keeping you up at night.
Pro Tip: Doctors consider it safe for breastfeeding moms to drink two to three cups of coffee each day, but that still might be too much caffeine if you want to get a good night’s rest.
Losing Your Focus
The last thing any mother wants is to make a mistake involving their baby. During sleep, the brain processes information it picked up throughout the day. If the brain doesn’t get enough time for this process, it won’t reset and prepare you for the next day. Therefore, you might be more likely to hold on to things if you’re not getting enough sleep.
Other focus-related complications that can stem from sleep deprivation include:
Trouble completing tasks
Difficulty making decisions
Making poor decisions
Poor mental and physical health are not necessarily signs of sleep deprivation. If you have switched your mattress and given yourself adequate time to sleep at night, you could have a more serious reason for your sleep troubles. If you are noticing these five signs you may need more sleep, talk to your doctor to avoid unnecessary sickness and brain fog.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 working out, 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 something low impact. Go for a walk or run around the block. Try some relaxing yoga positions or simple stretches. Postpartum anxiety causes a lot of tension in the muscles and stretching those out before bed will help you feel more at ease.
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 Weighting 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…
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.
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.