With last week’s debut so full of seriousness, I thought it’d be best to balance things out a bit with a lighter topic.
As parents, we all know how meaningful sleep can be – it’s precious lifeblood which lets us function – and when we don’t get it, World watch out! Unfortunately, those of us who struggle with a Postpartum Mood Disorder on top of the common parental experience of dazed consciousness are really in trouble. You see, it’s been proven over and over in research that sleep has something to do with our psyche. And guess what – lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorders! Great, you say? Yeah, well, that was my reaction too when I first read the research. I mean, really, why did they even bother researching this topic? Isn’t it common knowledge? BUT… they did research it… and now we have something concrete to point to when our beloved partners are befuddled at our new-found obsession with sleep.
So here’s today’s topic:
Share with us what effect (if any) sleepless nights had on your Postpartum Experience. Did you sleep? Did you not sleep? When you woke up, were you rested or did you wish you could go back to sleep? What strategies did you use to help regulate your sleep? Did you read? Watch TV? Play on the Internet?
Here are some basic suggestions for those who are STILL struggling with sleep.
Get into a routine. At a certain point in the evening (if you can – we all know how unpredictable babies can be!), start a certain chain of events that will lead to you crawling er, collapsing into bed.
Once in bed, if you lay there awake, GET back up and go somewhere else. Watch TV or read for 30 minutes. Bathe, shower, drink some hot milk. Then get back in bed. Don’t stay in bed if you’re awake. This will cause you not to associate bed with just sleep. (which completely defeats the purpose!)
Have your partner take a night feeding and let you sleep for at least 5-6 hours at night. (Even if you’re nursing DO this – and have your partner get baby ready for nursing by changing diaper, etc, so you can get a few extra minutes!)
Remember – if you are not sleeping and/or have difficulty sleeping for more than a week, call your doctor. This is not the time to hold off on getting relief!