I've been meaning to write a retraction to my last post "How We Get 8 Hours of Sleep With a Newborn", since literally 5 days after I posted it. We're now going on 9 months of VERY interrupted nighttime sleep. Yay.
After 2 short nights of my newborn sleeping (which mid soul-siphoning sleep deprivation, felt MOMENTOUS) I sort of thought, "Hey, I got a handle on things!" A good friend gave me some tips, I read a TON online and then it just all came together it seemed. Well, it didn't. To other moms out there that have 9 month olds that sleep like shit and wake you up chewing on your ground turkey looking nipples, I see you.
I'm currently writing this post while nursing because there just never seems to be a moment that I'm not either laying with him to get to sleep, stay asleep or having MAYBE a handful of minutes to use the bathroom, get food, etc, before he wakes up again. So, this is the new normal, multitasking constantly.
And on the topic of sleep deprivation, I just want to note that even though I have done the newborn thing twice before, it never really feels like I get a handle on it. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture that makes you care nothing of the present reality and spend minutes or hours daydreaming of a future place and time where you can just feel rested. It's also sneaky. I was complaining to my friend the other day (which is my current form of therapy and only thing that really helps) that I just didn't want to do anything, everything was terrible, etc etc. She reminded me that I had begun my litany of complaints with how I hadn't slept but a few hours the night before in a string of other nights with shit for sleep. "I think you just need a good night of rest," she suggested. Oh yea. THAT'S why I feel like I want to kill. That night I made it THE priority to get to bed no later than 8:30 after my other two were asleep. And just those extra few hours definitely helped.
The good news is, this really does pass. And good sleep is around the corner. I'm all for trial and error with new strategies that promise better sleep, but all with a grain of salt. It might work, it might not and still, this will all be a distant memory soon enough.
In the meantime, here are some tips that I have actually employed over the last several months that DO actually work to help mitigate the lack of sleep effects.
1) Get to bed as EARLY as possible. The only thing you can really control is when you START getting sleep for the night.
2) Eat your last meal at least 2 hours before bedtime. This will allow your body to digest most of your meal before resting. When you are not digesting, your body is more able to focus energy on rest and repair and you wake up feeling more energized.
3) Avoid caffeine and chocolate after 12pm. I swear this has made a big impact. Days that I forget and just need that extra cup to get through, I end up having a more awake baby at night.
4) Take magnesium before bed. I take CALM magnesium. It helps to relax my nerves and help me to drift to sleep faster.
Please comment if you have anymore tips! I for one could definitely use them! haha!