If you’re reading this, chances are you’re pretty tired. Or full-on worn out. This happens in parenting — tiny humans are tiring — but there are tricks that can help you feel more rested. I’m sharing my tips for moms to get sleep.
In fact, there’s 1 sleep secret that can works wonders, and I rely on it heavily. Even though, ahem, I started writing this post around 1:30 am.
Even though, right now I’m
sleepy exhausted bone tired.
And yes, even though, my husband — who’s only home on weekends — fell asleep on the couch next to me, before finally going to bed alone (hashtag, entrepreneur wife life).
But I’m tired for a good reason: I’ve been working like crazy, and I just hit a big deadline, so my body is going into a luscious season of rest. The adrenaline rush is wearing off, the crazy schedule is smoothing out, and the extra-long hours are winding down.
In other words, I’m ’bout to sleep for a week straight, uninterrupted. (Ha, I kid. Because, I have kids.)
But seriously, our collective-society-lack-of-sleep struggle is real.
If you know what I mean, here’s a care ritual that you might love: I call it “the catch-up night.”
My sleep has been fragmented, for over a year now. Instead of solid hours each night, it’s more like “fourth trimester” sleep with a hungry newborn: a few “chunks” of sleep at night (often with 1-2 of power naps peppered in during the day).
So, once a week or so, I have a “catch up night” — I go to bed around the same time as my babies, at 7 pm, and don’t get up until they wake me up.
This has been a godsend for how I work, look, feel, and function in the world. It isn’t perfect, but right now, it’s my most critical care ritual.
You might say, as I first did, “but I have things to do after my kids go to sleep!”
If so, remember that this is once a week or so, not every night. Sleep will help you get more done on those other awake nights.
You might also say, “but my kids don’t sleep through the night [yet].” And, if so, you’ve got a point. It depends on your situation, though.
If you have a 2-month old who wakes throughout the night to eat, congratulations — you’re a postpartum mama. Your “catch up night” looks like putting everything else away from around 7 pm to 7 am, and sleeping every moment your baby isn’t feeding (no laundry, no dishes, no email, no Instagram).
Having a 2 year old who wakes throughout the night to eat/play/be held/rocked/cuddled, that is almost always a sleep education/training issue that can be resolved. (I usually recommend starting with Alexis.)
Until your older child’s sleep situation is sorted, though, you can still have a “catch up” night.
- You will need to delegate night wakings to your partner, using white noise to block out the baby, and possibly sleeping in another place.
- It could also look like bed-sharing with your older child for that one night (but this could create a habit that backfires, so proceed with caution).
- If these aren’t options for you, recruit an angelic relative or friend, or even hire a babysitter, and shoot for a super-solid, multiple-hour nap during the day.
However you work it, the “catch up” night has the potential to get you extra rest and much-needed relief that follows. Add it to your care ritual routine, and watch how that once-a-week treat can turn your mood around.