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Talk to any new mother and the story is always the same in terms of the one thing they wish they had more of.

Sleep.

Let’s face it: sleep is seemingly impossible to come by when you first bring your new bundle of joy home. Between frequent tantrums and seemingly endless bathroom breaks on behalf of your baby, being deprived of sleep is a reality of being a new mom.

However, it can also be a potential nightmare when lack of sleep starts wearing on you psychologically. This is especially true if you’re facing sleep deprivation while driving or returning to work. In short, not getting enough shut-eye is no laughing matter.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to uncover more hours of sleep: that is, if you know how.

Consider the following strategies to get more shut-eye which may require some shuffling around but will ultimately pay off in the long run.

Make the Most of The Sleep You Can Get

Simply put, the answer isn’t always more sleep but making the most of the few hours you can already get. Creating optimal bedtime conditions is probably easier than you think. Any combination of the following is fair game if you want to actually feel rested versus waking up more exhausted than before:

  • Making sure that your bedroom is pitch black: shading solutions such as wood blinds can help block out pesky outdoor light which can ruin your sleep quality
  • Shielding yourself from any unnecessary noises and disturbances: put in some ear plugs or use a white noise machine to eliminate sounds that could wake you up
  • Rest in your own bedroom versus trying to share your sleeping space with your baby: this will only result in another restless night for you

Again, you need to treat your time sleeping as sacred and therefore get the most out of it as possible.

The Power of Naps

Despite popular belief, everyone is different in terms of how much sleep we need. In other words, the traditional “eight hour rule” doesn’t ring true for everyone. Similarly, you may want to consider taking short power naps (usually lasting between twenty minutes to an hour) to get some much-needed rest throughout the day instead of banking on a long stretch of sleep.

Don’t Become a Coffee Addict

Conventional wisdom tells us that coffee is the answer to staying awake longer; however, excessive caffeine consumption can do more harm than good. After all, caffeine lingers in your system and impacts you hours after your afternoon cup of coffee. While it’s okay to have a cup every now and then, don’t rely on caffeine as sleep-replacement.

When in Doubt, Sleep in Shifts

There’s no better way to ensure your shut-eye than by combining the aforementioned steps with sleeping in shifts. If you have a partner, sibling or parent who can help with baby duty, simply block out designated rest periods so you can both maintain your sanity. The more people around the house to help, the better.

Having a baby means sacrificing some sleep; however, that doesn’t mean that you have to be totally miserable. Instead, consider these strategies the cornerstones to getting a good night’s rest and actually enjoying time spent with your baby.

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