Do you suffer from postnatal insomnia? Try these 6 sleep tricks

Here are 6 tips to help you get a better night’s rest.

Baby is down, and you’re exhausted. But 20 minutes later you still haven’t managed to fall asleep. This is not uncommon for new parents. In fact, it has a name. It’s called postnatal (or postpartum) insomnia, and often affects moms much more than dads.

According to The Baby Sleep Site, postnatal insomnia happens when an exhausted mom is unable to fall asleep, even though her baby is down and sleeping peacefully for the night. “Postnatal insomnia has been linked to postpartum depression, but it can also appear on its own, without any noticeable depression symptoms.”

If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, try these tricks to get some shut eye:

1.Do something relaxing an hour before bedtime
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to spend the hour before bedtime reading, listening to soothing music or talking to your partner. We know you have a never-ending to-do list you need to get through, but save this for the morning.

2. Avoid caffeine
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, having caffeine within six hours of going to bed can have a significant disruptive effect on sleep. Check out the caffeine content on cold drinks as well as medicine!

ALSO SEE: 8 top sleep tips for sleep deprived moms

3. Limit screen time
According to a study from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a two-hour exposure to light from self-luminous electronic displays like tablets and televisions can suppress melatonin by 22%, which can affect sleep.
Instead of watching a movie or reading on your tablet before bed, read a magazine or a book.

4. Get out of bed
If you’ve been tossing and turning for more than 20 minutes, it’s better to just get up. You don’t want to create an association between going to bed and not being able to sleep. Do something that’s not too stimulating like reading a book, or have a cup of herbal tea to relax you, and go back to bed as soon as you feel drowsy.

5. Eat dinner early
Eating a big meal within two hours of bedtime can cause sleep-disturbing indigestion. Don’t wait until you’ve put the kids to bed to have your meal. Have your dinner with them. If you get hungry later, just have a small snack – not anything too heavy though.

6. Use a night light
Don’t turn on the main light if you need to get up in the middle of the night for a feed or bathroom break. According to Dr Michael J Breus, the founder of TheSleepDoctor.com, light tells your brain to stop producing melatonin, so it will be much harder to get back to sleep.

ALSO SEE: 10 ideas for when the baby sleeps

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