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Sleep deprived mom tips
Lifestyle

Sleep-Deprived Moms; How to Get Better Sleep

Tara Youngblood · Apr 21, 2022
Sleep deprived mom tips

Calling all sleep-deprived moms!

Did you know that if you Google the phrase “moms are doing too much,” it brings back a whopping 7,390,000,000 results? That’s over 7 MILLION unique posts to answer the somewhat rhetorical question about whether you’re a mom who is overworked, tired, and ultimately sleep-deprived. 

Why is that? Whether you’re a new mom or a mother of grown children, you’re on-call, 24/7 and it can be pretty darn exhausting! Plus, if you’re like me, you’re always wanting to put others’ needs before your own.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported on the widespread problem of sleep deprivation for new moms in the United States. For single moms who are “only” parents as well, Mother’s Day can often feel like just another reminder of the incredible uphill battle faced every day. 

New Mom Sleep Survey

On average, moms lose around 90 minutes of sleep every night for the first year after having a baby. By the time the child is between 4 and 6 years old, moms continue to miss out on around 20 minutes of sleep per night.

Indeed, single mothers are the most sleep-deprived people in the country, according to CDC data. [1] Guess who came in second place? Moms from “nuclear” households with a partner are the second-most sleep deprived.

How to Improve Sleep for Moms

If the CDC wants us to prioritize sleep deprivation as a national health priority, the first people who deserve better sleep are moms. Below are a few tips on how sleep-deprived moms can improve their sleep quality over time.

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene for Moms

Let's start with the obvious: moms have no downtime! It might feel impossible to prioritize sleep but it’s a very important step.

A tip to get more rest comes from someone who has been there, done that. Learning to practice good “sleep hygiene” was one of the best gifts I gave to myself and my family. Everyone has a unique “recipe” for optimizing their sleep. Sleep is how we spend about one-third of our days and deserves a prominent place in our daily self-care routines.

New Mom Sleeping Tip

Take some time and try implementing a relaxing routine throughout the day, such as taking a warm bath or reading a few pages of a book before bed, plus turning off electronics at least 1 to 2 hours before bedtime.

As a parent, you can’t prevent our kids from waking us up — unfortunately, that’s a big part of the job. But working toward a consistent sleep routine night after night will have long-term benefits.

Your Personal Sleep Hygiene Recipe

Your sleep hygiene “recipe” may be different from mine. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, making some of these slight adjustments could make the difference between sound sleep and a restless night: 

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
  • Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.
  • If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
  • Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing.
  • Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature. Learn how to stay cool while sleeping
  • Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings.
  • Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Blue light can affect your sleep
  • Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime. Learn more about alcohol and sleep quality
  • Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.

Creating good sleeping habits is essential for your baby's physical and emotional well-being. [4] Don't forget that nighttime rituals are imperative, so make sure there is a chance to bond as a family at the end of a long day.

Nap for mother and child

Make Time for a Nap

Finding time can be challenging, but experts recommend that you should try and take a nap when the baby is sleeping. Whether it's a short nap ranging from 10 to 30 minutes [2] or a longer power nap, they can help you recharge. A study showed that taking a nap can help reduce stress levels. [3] Learn more about the benefits as they can help your physical and mental health.

Weighted Blankets Can Help with Stress

A weighted blanket can simulate the feeling of being cradled, which is also referred to as deep touch pressure. It can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

Pick Your Priorities

The first way for new mothers to feel more well-rested is to choose which buckets to fill. This is advice that my good friend Danielle shared with me years ago — and it’s a practical approach to helping me find balance even to this day! She decided she had to pick her priorities. She told me that every morning she holds up five fingers on her left hand, representing which buckets will get filled that day.

For example, before she took control of her schedule, a typical day might have included: children, spouse, work, cleaning, chores, cooking, groceries, laundry, exercise, friends, reading, hobbies, or volunteering.

Wow, that’s a lot! Danielle once told me that fitting all of that into one day was causing her to have anxiety, insomnia, and massive mom guilt — it was absolutely impossible to try and squeeze all of those competing priorities into ONE day. She was juggling so much that nothing got done well.

Until one day she stopped and promised herself that each day she’d focus on no more than five things. Naturally, her children and spouse take the top spots almost every day — but the funny thing is, once she started “scheduling” her activities, she realized she’d never created a category for the oh-so-important category of REST!

(Take a look at her list again and you’ll see that she never prioritized sleep — no wonder she was so tired all the time!)

Now she feels happier, calmer, and ironically, more productive saying “yes” to fewer things and “no” to multiple activities that left her burned out.

Using Danielle’s advice, I also learned ways to get more done. Now when I want to exercise, I call a couple of girlfriends and we walk and catch up at the same time. When I have house chores, I put in ear pods and listen to an audiobook. (Okay, cleaning and folding laundry certainly aren’t glamorous but the ability to be transported to a fictional spot for 20 minutes definitely improves my outlook!)

Postpartum Sleep Deprivation

Postpartum sleep deprivation is really difficult! New mom sleep deprivation is a shock to the system and disrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm, which can often set the stage for a cascade of anxiety and worry to boot.

Motherhood is often called the hardest job in the world and I can’t say I disagree! Add in what we experienced after the last unprecedented and difficult year, and it’s become more stressful and more exhausting for so many families. 

No one would disagree with the fact that moms definitely are tired! Quality sleep is important and helps you recover physically and mentally. A good night’s sleep helps you focus the next day. Good sleep can burn fat and calories and it helps to keep you healthy and strong. 

As Katie Wells — a.k.a., Wellness Mama — famously said in her Healthy Moms podcast, it's sleep — not nutrition or exercise — that's the foundation of all health.

In an episode with guest Shawn Stevenson, he discussed how in order to get optimal sleep, you want to rest and relax a few hours before bed so that you can drop cortisol levels as well as your core body temperature.

Quiz: Are You Tired of Being Tired?

Let’s take a sleep quick quiz to determine whether you’re doing too much for everyone else. If you can answer “Yes” to most of these statements below, then it might indicate you’re a new mom that’s sleep deprived and in need of advice to improve your sleep quality:

  • You can’t remember the last time you went to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • You spend time after the kids are sleeping to do “one more thing,” anxious about all of the things that didn’t get finished today.
  • You have trouble falling asleep, and your mind races worrying about your long to-do list tomorrow.
  • You toss and turn, sleep hot, have sweaty sleep, and often wake up thirsty.
  • You can’t remember the last time you got to “sleep in” on the weekends.

Mothers Day Sale

Better Sleep for New Moms

New mom sleep deprivation is real. Postpartum sleep deprivation leads to stress and lack of sleep. If you’re a new mom who feels exhausted, frazzled, or stressed, it might be because you’re not getting enough quality rest.

It’s not too late to take back control of your time and improve your sleep, too! Every “chapter” in life is just a season and won’t last forever. While this chapter might feel especially challenging, the most important thing is that you try to prioritize your health and wellness.

We make four temperature-regulating products that can help you get the deep sleep you deserve. Our cooling mattress pads include the Dock Pro, Cube, OOLER, and our versatile heating and cooling weighted blanket. Rest may be harder to come by these days as a new mother, but it might just take time and experimenting to create your perfect sleep routine.

Learn more about our cooling bed systems to find out which is best for you and your needs. 

Dock Pro Sleep System

We doubled the cold power just for you. Meet the Dock Pro, the coldest, quietest and most comfortable cooling mattress pad available! 

OOLER Sleep System

With the OOLER, you can schedule different temperatures with the mobile app, ranging from 55-115ª throughout the night to get your best sleep possible. 

Cube Sleep System

With the Cube, you can set it and forget it. This sleep system provides an easy way to sleep at your ideal temperature all night long.

After all, what your kids need the most is a healthy, well-rested, and happy parent. New mom sleep deprivation won't last forever. Make sure to take steps to care for the hero who does it all and makes it look easy—YOU!

Remember, if you need alone time or a nap, don't be afraid to ask for help by reaching out to family members, friends or neighbors.

Citation / Resources

[1] Nugent, Colleen, and Lindsey Black. Sleep Duration, Quality of Sleep, and Use of Sleep Medication, by Sex and Family Type, 2013-2014 Key Findings. 2013.

[2] Brooks, A., & Lack, L. (2006). A brief afternoon nap following nocturnal sleep restriction: which nap duration is most recuperative?. Sleep, 29(6), 831–840. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/29.6.831

[3] Faraut, B., Nakib, S., Drogou, C., Elbaz, M., Sauvet, F., De Bandt, J. P., & Léger, D. (2015). Napping reverses the salivary interleukin-6 and urinary norepinephrine changes induced by sleep restriction. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 100(3), E416–E426. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2014-2566

[4] Creating a safe sleep environment for your baby. (2004). Paediatrics & child health, 9(9), 665–674. https://doi.org/10.1093/pch/9.9.665

About the Author

Tara Youngblood

Tara Youngblood

Tara Youngblood is ChiliSleep’s co-founder and CEO. An accomplished scientist, author, and speaker, Tara’s unique ideas are revolutionizing the future of sleep health by making sleep easy, approachable, and drug-free.
Learn more about Tara.

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