With a solid night sleep reminiscent of yesteryear, napping can be the only way to feel (somewhat) human when you’re a new parent.
With research showing new parents get just 4 hours and 44 minutes of sleep per night, new parents sleep 59% less than the recommended 8 hours – and it comes at a price: 23% self-report to ‘behave unusually’, 44% have mid-sentence memory lapses and 8% even forget the name of their baby! The research also shows you’re likely to wake up three times – per night – to tend to your new bundle of joy.
Needless to say, with nighttime sleep out the window, naps are a great go-to strategy. And on behalf of Welcare, I’m pleased to share my top 5 nap tips with you today – before another sleepless night passes.
1. Set an alarm for 90 minutes
90 minutes – a golden number when it comes to sleep.
This is the length of one sleep cycle – and by waking after a complete cycle rather than mid cycle, you avoid sleep inertia – the feeling of grogginess – occurring when you wake during deep sleep.
Avoid this nap no-no by setting an alarm for 90 minutes – and make sure it’s loud enough to wake you.
2. Put on an eye mask
As you may have noticed in our recent blog about sleeping better, blocking out 100% of light during the night is key: it helps your body produce melatonin, the hormone to make you sleepy.
As vital as this is for nighttime sleep, it’s equally as important for daytime sleeping too – perhaps even more so, given the influx of beaming light from your surrounds.
A great tool to have at your helm is the Dreamlight Ease sleep eye mask – it blocks 100% of light. And if you’re on the go, opt for Ease Lite – it’s smaller and will fit into your baby bag like a glove.
3. Play white noise in the nursery
Help bub fall asleep within 5 minutes – as found in clinical trials – with the use of white noise.
4. Or – play a recording of your unique heartbeat.
Further to the above, evidence shows a recording of your unique heartbeat extends nap length (for bub) by 46%!
And the more bub sleeps, the more you can sleep!
For both tips 3 + 4, I can recommend the Welcare Sleep-Tight Sleep Sound Machine – it plays both your heartbeat and white noise.
5. If you have your partner or family offering support – ACCEPT IT!
Lastly – if you have the offer of support from hubby, grandma, your sister, best friend… remind yourself that it’s OK to have a moment to yourself – and accept it.
Exactly as you would want others to feel supported in their journey, your loved ones want it for you.