sleep deprived mom

New Parents and Sleep Deprivation

Parental sleep deprivation is surely a thing. In fact, I’m so sure that I’ve set out the 5 stages below. It won’t help you to feel less tired, but at least you know what you’re in for. That, and you’re not alone!

As a new parent, you are likely to have received the well-meaning advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps”. Lack of sleep can make you feel sluggish and irritable, and it can put a strain on your most important relationships. It can also cause you to miss out on some of the unique joys of being a new parent. Regardless of whether or not this is possible, you’re probably still tired. VERY tired. So tired that you are in a constant state of brain fog wondering if you’ll ever sleep again.

Welcome to the joyous cycle of parental sleep deprivation:

1. Denial

You’ve survived all-nighters in the past and been able to hold down study/work/life, no problem. This parenting malarkey can’t be any worse than that, surely? So, you haven’t had a full nights sleep in six weeks (months?) but you can totally boss this. You just need to pull up your extra large maternity pants and get on with it.

2. Greed

OK, so maybe this isn’t quite the same as those party days of old. But you can survive this. You just need to consume two Mars bars, a slice of cake and six pints of full-of-sugar-fizzy-pop a day to be able to function normally. If you are the proud owner of a young human over the ago of one, then these items will be inhaled. Whilst hiding your head in the kitchen cupboard. Simultaneously shouting at them to eat their tasty snack of carrot sticks.

3. Bewilderment

Excessive sugar consumption means that you are totally rocking this parenting business. Well, surviving anyway. That is, as long as no-one expects to have a conversation with you. Your head is in a constant fog.

You stop halfway through each sentence. Resort to replacing every other word with “you know, whats-it-called?” Forget what you were talking about and quickly change the subject. Eventually, you give up altogether and just nod and smile in the hope that no-one notices.

4. Resentment

You are sure your husband/wife/the dog has had more sleep than you. They deserve to be punished in the form of loud stomping around whenever you have to get out of bed to feed the baby/wipe the toddler’s nose/have a wee because your pelvic floor has gone to pot.

You may resort to turning lights on, heavy sighs and giving them a poke with your foot if the noise fails to rouse them. If they dare to complain about being tired, you shout “NOT AS TIRED AS ME” and spend the day fuming at their audacity whilst simultaneously Googling local hotels to see if you could escape for a full nights’ sleep.

5. Acceptance

You realize that this is the way your life will be for the next eighteen years, since babies are replaced with toddlers. Which will grow into teenagers. And you’ll definitely have to stay awake to worry about them. You manage to have three hours’ sleep in a row one night and feel positively revitalized the next day.

How to survive when you are sleep deprived as a new mother

Sleep deprivation, according to scientists and doctors, plays a significant impact in emotional stability, including mental disease and despair. This frequently results in someone being prescribed medication for these problems, which are the direct outcome of a chemical and hormonal imbalance caused by a lack of sleep.

Many moms may have advise you to sleep when your baby sleeps, but it’s much harder than it sounds. In parenthood, sleep deprivation is a part of everyday life, and recent studies show that it goes well beyond your children’s first few months. If you’re seeking for solutions to get through sleep deprivation—and maybe even catch some extra shut-eye, here are some tips.

Read also: How To Sleep When Everyone Thinks You Are an Idiot

Make your baby to sleep well.

Except for keeping the room dark and comforting your infant, there is basically nothing you can do to help your baby sleep better in the first few months of life. However, as babies become older, you can help them sleep better by establishing a relaxing evening routine, sticking to regular bedtimes, and encouraging frequent naps. Sleep positioning aids or rolled blankets should not be used to try to keep the baby on his or her back, as they increase your baby’s risk of suffocation.

In order to “sleep through the night” and go 5 or 6 hours straight without drinking, your baby needs to be able to build up energy reserves. He must also be able to regulate his biological clock, i.e. the variations in his body temperature, his cardiovascular system and his hormonal cycles. Every newborn learns to sleep at his own pace, just as he will one day learn to crawl and walk. You can only help.

Try to sleep when your baby sleeps

During the day, if you are not working or have not yet returned to work, it is really important to make time for yourself. The golden rule is: “When baby sleeps, I sleep”. By rest time, we mean: lie down in a quiet place, in the dark, with as little outside stimulation as possible (no telephone, no television screen or tablet etc.). Soft relaxation music can help you relax. There are many CDs available in stores, or playlists are available on the Internet.

Read also: 7 Simple Steps For Your Most Restful Sleep Ever

Take help from others

When family or friends come to visit during the first few weeks, set aside the customary social etiquette and ask if they’d mind babysitting baby while you nap. They’ll understand and, hopefully, be willing to assist you. Don’t be tempted to ‘show you can manage’ – accept help if it is offered! Give them a task to complete, even if it’s only watching the baby while you wash your hair or take a long bath.

Relax and mediate

Try meditating or using the relaxation techniques you learnt while pregnant if you can’t sleep. If active relaxation techniques aren’t working for you, consider listening to soothing music or white noise to help you relax and de-stress. Relaxing might help you feel more centered and relieve the discomforts of sleep deprivation.




I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It