Saturday, January 25, 2014
Life With a Newborn - Dealing with Sleep Deprivation
As someone who 'needed' 8 hours of sleep a night to feel 'normal' I was a little worried about how I would deal with the inevitable lack of sleep. I get very emotional and feel sad easily when I don't get my allotted 8 hours so I wasn't sure how I would cope with newborn sleep deprivation.
The first two weeks were astonishing, I had very little sleep but was obviously running off of adrenaline because I felt great! After a few weeks of 6-8 hours of broken sleep a night I started to feel the effects. Now, at 6 weeks, I feel light-headed and exhausted during the day, I have a hard-time communicating and speaking in full coherent sentences and I lack any sort of creativity or enthusiasm that I had pre-baby. I turn into a zombie every evening around 6 or 7pm. This also happens to be Miko's fussy/cluster feeding time...
Here are some positive things I have learned from this experience:
-I AM capable of surviving on much less than 8 hours of sleep a night
-When I am this tired I become much more true to myself. I lack the energy to pretend to feel anything other than what I am experiencing moment-to-moment.
-I try not to put too much pressure on myself to 'sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps' because it actually ends up making me feel worse most of the time. I have a really hard time napping during the day and tend to get all anxious and stressed-out if I lay in bed and can't sleep (which still happens to me no matter how tired I am unfortunately...)
Here are some coping strategies I am going to try:
-I am not going to focus on how many hours I may or may not have slept during the night. I am just going to sleep when I can and come to terms with the fact that I will most likely feel tired in the morning no matter what.
-I will try and nurse laying down more often. I can't sleep in this position but at least I can let my body rest.
-I will remind myself that this will not last forever. I will make a real effort to cherish this stage while I am living it.
-I will brew and enjoy some delicious coffee
-I will cuddle with Miko when I feel like I am at the end of my rope - there is no better way to remind myself that he is worth it!