How to cope when you can’t get any sleep (for new mamas and others)

Baby and Parenting, Lifestyle, Self Care, wellbeing

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23 Comments

  1. lilylipstick

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have a baby but do find that I function so badly when I’m not getting enough sleep due to long working hours and then being too stressed to sleep well when I do get the chance. I’ve definitely learned over the years to avoid the sugar and to try to eat as well as possible – I limit myself to one coffee per day mid-morning and this has helped a lot too. I need to try that macha latte as a replacement! I’m lucky that 6 hours sleep is usually enough for me! x

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      I think my body has started to adapt as 6 hours is starting to become manageable! Mainstream coffee shops should start doing matcha lattes right :-)

      Reply
  2. Karina

    Terrific tips, great post, Laura!

    Reply
  3. Louise @louliveswell

    I used to think that I was someone who could just get and up and go no matter how much or little sleep I’ve had (I am a definite morning person). In the last few years though I have really realised how much better I feel if I turn the light out by 10.30pm. It’s amazing that impact sleep has on now you feel! Not eating sugar has also impacted my sleep in a big way – I used to wake at 4am every night but since cutting out sugar, I don’t! It’s great!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      It’s amazing isn’t it, sugar can have such an impact, glad you sleep better without it :-)

      Reply
  4. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    I think it’s going to be a huuuuge shock to me when I eventually have a baby. I’m an 8 hours sleep kinda girl. I get up ridiculously early for the gym (5am) but I got to be at like 9pm and fall asleep very quickly these days so though it feel awful when the alarm goes off, when I’m up I’m actually fine. But having a baby thrown into the mix? You mums are superwomen!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Haha thanks Anna, it is tough but you adapt. I’m sure something must happen to your body to help you cope!

      Reply
  5. Claire Hayhurst

    Great, great tips Laura! I’ve found taking magnesium and gelatin helps ensure a good night’s sleep when I’m able to get a good whack of hours in (I appreciate new mums etc don’t always have the option of sleeping through the night!)

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      I still take my magnesium calcium before bed for what good it’s worth! You’ve actually just reminded me to go and make some more gelatin gummies :-)

      Reply
  6. GiGi Eats

    I shall send this to my sister who is 6 months pregnant! ;)

    Reply
  7. Pip {Cherries & Chisme}

    I seriously do not know how mamas cope, big respect.
    I haven’t been sleeping as much as I should’ve this week due to stress/business (I feel so bad saying this in comparison to you guys!!) and what’s been key for me is learning to prioritise. Like, what can I move to do at the weekend when I have more time so that I can sleep more now? Is going to CrossFit today reallyyyy going to help me or shall I go on Thursday instead? That kind of thing. Quitting the self-enforced pressure basically.
    Plus, all of what you said! It reminds me of my finals when the guy in the library coffee shop knew my order as soon as I walked in… #healthy

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      That’s a great tip, prioritising where you put sleep ahead of other things is so key. For me it’s damn emails that stops me from getting to bed that little bit earlier! Haha, if I had a coffee shop really close by it would likely be the same for me to be honest!

      Reply
  8. Mary

    I am AWFUL when I’ve not gotten much sleep the night before. Really grumpy and no fun to be around at all. I can’t imagine that I would cope very well if we were to have a child. I think I would find it quite stressful to constantly be ‘on show’ for everyone that wanted to pop by after the birth as well. That’s something else that wears me out. I really don’t know how you cope!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Yep that’s something we didn’t have too much of thankfully. You really don’t feel like seeing people that close to the birth!

      Reply
  9. Lauren

    I don’t know how you do it lady. I am a monster if I don’t get my sleep. It seems like you have lots of great things in place to help support you during this time of little sleep. Keep going and I am sure the older Fin gets, the more sleep you will get back :)

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      I really hope so! Haha I know he’ll get better in time thankfully :-)

      Reply
  10. Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    This is a timely post for me, as I’ve really been slacking on sleep this week, I’ve had 3 nights in a row of 6 hours or less, and I really start to notice it. Unfortunately I’m having a super busy time with working and studying and sleep is the thing that has been sacrificed this week!

    Reply
  11. Rachel

    This is one of the aspects of having a baby that worries me most as I can be a really bad sleeper when faced with anything important I have to do or anything that disrupts the normal routine – I got no sleep at all the night before my wedding! I have phases of sleeping really badly, it’s like my brain gets itself in a loop and I just can’t drop off. I am not even pregnant and already convinced that I will be an insane zombie with a baby! I just have to tell myself that eventually I will drop off and that i will manage somehow with a baby!

    Good tips, nice to see an article that has ideas for coping on no sleep as usually sleep articles just say how awful it is for your health and life expectancy not to sleep well and to ‘make sure you get enough sleep’ as if it’s always that easy!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      You’ll be fine, it is hard, but with tips like that to follow they will help and I’m also sure that something changes in your body that helps you cope. That is exactly why I wrote this, I was getting so frustrated with those articles!

      Reply
  12. Emma

    Hi Laura,

    This is a fab article! My daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was 15 months! And I’m now weeks away from giving birth to my second (very much hoping for a sleepy one this time).

    This list you have put together is BRILLIANT. And I, sadly, completely agree with your point on coffee. I went through a phase of relying on it to get me through and by 5pm would be grinding my teeth and feeling slightly mad.

    I think I would also add to your list telling your nearest and dearest that sleep deprivation is taking its toll. I found lack of sleep messed with my emotions and ability to achieve ANYTHING. I spoke to a sleep researcher and she confirmed that it reduces your ability to follow a process or make a decision. In the end I told my husband and friends ‘look, I’m struggling, I’m not going to be able to remember things, make a decision and am feeling wobbly – please be kind.’ Things got a lot better from there – and at the very least they stopped saying ‘but I TOLD you YESTERDAY’ when I couldn’t even remember what day it was! So frustrating…

    Emma x

    Reply

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