Working mothers juggle a lot of obligations, particularly those who have young infants. Unfortunately, sacrifices are frequently made before sleep. According to research, less than half of women receive seven hours of sleep each night, and the statistics are significantly worse for parents of babies under six months: only 5% of them get eight hours, and nearly 20% of new mothers have trouble sleeping every night.
With a new infant, some degree of sleep loss is unavoidable. Working mothers struggle more than others since advice like "sleep when your baby sleeps" is less effective while you're working. But that doesn't mean that nothing needs to be done.
Sleep also affects how you interact with your kids. According to one study, women with more interrupted sleep were less sensitive to their 18-week-old babies than mothers with more uninterrupted sleep. In addition to being a protective factor, getting enough sleep makes parents and kids more resilient to stress. Overall, receiving the rest one requires improves one’s interactions with the kids.
Here are a few ways that working mothers should keep in mind to get a mindful sleep.
- Prioritize your Sleep
Recognize that getting enough sleep will make your days feel more productive and give you the impression that you have more time. There is always a desire to squeeze in "one last thing" or put off going to bed, but getting a decent night's sleep will provide you with the necessary resources to handle daily obligations.
Determine the amount of sleep you require to feel rested (the recommendation in the U.S. is seven to nine hours for adults). Decide what time you must awaken in the morning, and then start counting. Set a bedtime alarm and allow yourself an additional 30 to 60 minutes to relax and get ready for bed every night.
- Fix a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is one of the best strategies to get good sleep. By letting your body know when to get up and when to sleep, it can release melatonin at the appropriate times, which will make it simpler for you to go to sleep.
Not only will a regular schedule help you sleep more, it will help you sleep more soundly. On days when you work and on days when you don't, maintain this schedule. Although it may seem appealing, it is actually ineffective to use the weekends as a time to significantly "catch-up" on sleep.
While sleeping in late will make you feel good that day, it will mess with your body clock and ignore the bigger problem of maintaining a regular schedule that gives you ample time to sleep each night. When parents assist in establishing the child's sleep routine, kids—even teens—get more sleep.
- Bring down Your Exposure to Blue Light at Night
Your body receives blue light as a daytime signal, which can interfere with your sleep. This blue light, which is emitted by smartphones, computers, and tablets, can interfere with your sleep. Use blue-light filters (included in most tablets and smartphones) or blue-light-blocking eye wear to avoid this when using a screen in the hours before night. The morning, on the other hand, is a perfect time to be exposed to intense blue light. When you initially wake up, exposure to strong light helps establish your circadian rhythm and signals your body when it's time to be attentive.
- Stick to Your Bedtime
We've all wished we could stay up a little later to complete the project we're working on. However, if you try to work when it's time for bed, you'll be less productive and more likely to make mistakes. Keep your bedtime and come back to your task the following day when you'll be rested, able to think clearly, and able to complete it in half the time.
- Do not Keep Screens in Your Bedroom
Working parents may want to check their email one final time or spend some time on Twitter after they go to bed in today's always-connected environment. But allowing your body time to relax before going to bed is a crucial component of proper sleep hygiene. Additionally, as we grow tired, we lose our ability to self-regulate.
As a result, even though you may have only planned to spend a few minutes online, you may end up doing so for an hour or longer. Before going to bed, leave your screens outside the room or set them in airplane mode.
- Do not Discuss about Something Serious Before Bed
Even though you've probably been instructed to never go to bed furious, getting a good night's sleep may also enable you to handle disagreement in a more effective manner. Save important conversations until when both of you are awake and have the stamina to discuss them.
Even though it might seem difficult, scheduling conversations for when you're not sleepy might make the rest of your relationship flow more smoothly. This advice can be used at work as well; don't put off uncomfortable conversations or crucial brainstorming sessions till the end of the day when you're exhausted.
- Do not Get Upset Thinking about the Nights of Poor Sleep
Even while having a regular sleep schedule is beneficial, everyone occasionally has trouble sleeping. Sleep anxiety can develop into a problem on its own. Instead, understand that your body is adaptable and capable of handling temporary sleep disruptions, and find techniques to reduce tension before bed to aid in relaxation and restful sleep.
Take into account these relationship-based tactics to avoid the inevitable problems that might result from inadequate sleep in addition to ways to make sleeping more regular and habitual.
- Share the Responsibilities with Your Partner and Work Together on them
To ensure that everyone is on the same page, have direct discussions about household and childcare responsibilities at home. Online, create a shared shopping list that anybody may add goods to. You may avoid lengthy discussions every time one of you tries to arrange a task by creating and sharing calendars. Time may be freed up for the things you actually need, like sleep, by cutting less on unneeded labor.
- Share with your Colleagues and Family the Benefit of Doubt
If your partner forgets to call you on the way home from work, presume it's because they had a challenging day at work and not because they don't respect your time. After all, the people in your life are probably just as exhausted as you are. At supper, if your child just responds with a single word, keep in mind that they might just be fatigued from a busy day at school and not uninterested in what you have to say. And before dismissing a coworker as dependable because they fail to confirm a meeting, ask them how their personal situation is.
- Make the most of it if your partner has different sleep schedule
When your schedules don't coincide, having a different bedtime from your partner can seem like an issue, whether such discrepancies are brought on by personal preferences or job schedules. However, you might be able to take advantage of this distinction by designating the early bird to oversee the morning routine and the night owl to oversee bedtime.
- Buy some extra time if you can
Paying someone else to do some of your labor, such as house cleaning or supermarket delivery, will provide you more time to sleep if you have the money to do so.
- Look for more Flexible-timing Jobs
If your employment permits it, working from home or scheduling your workday to fit your family's needs may help you feel less stressed and get a better night's sleep. For instance, working from home in the morning before your family awakens and altering your hours accordingly may be advantageous if you are an early riser.
Think about being accommodating with your family time as well. To avoid the additional stress of meal preparation, some families with busy schedules may find that having breakfast together works better than the customary family dinner. This allows you to use those evening hours to attend your children's extracurricular activities, establish a toddler's bedtime routine, or unwind after a long day.
- If required seek for some professional help
You can also think about getting outside assistance if you have the resources. One of the greatest ways to make sure you obtain nightly sleep is to hire a night nurse to take care of your infant. Additionally, a lot of night nurses can teach your infant to sleep better. Try one or two nights a week if it is too expensive to have someone come every night. Your quality of life will significantly improve even with just a single night of unbroken sleep per week.
You need sleep the most when you feel like you don't have time for it. You can better manage the demands of your daily life by finding a way to prioritize regular, high-quality sleep. This will result in better interactions with your family, better sleep for your kids, and better relationships at work.