Postpartum Insomnia Depression Causes -11 Sleep Tips For New Moms
Pregnancy is a time to bring a roller coaster of emotions in a woman’s life. She is eagerly waiting for the new baby’s arrival, and the entire family is very excited. However, becoming pregnant is not an easy job. It comes with a lot of hardships, sacrifices, and angst.
The period is of extreme happiness, and it equally brings fatigue and exhaustion. If it is the first pregnancy of a woman, she may become even more overwhelmed because she is unknown to the wonders and the dread that pregnancy and its side effects bring.
Given that many bodily changes occur in a pregnant woman, it is not surprising that pregnancy has a drastic effect on a woman’s mental health. The inability to do several things which a woman could do before pregnancy like wearing their favorite outfit, inability to walk for long during her last trimester, backache, swollen feet, frequent visits to the toilet, constipation, dramatic mood swings.
In addition to this, let’s not forget how many nights a woman has to stay up fidgeting in their bed as they can’t sleep properly because of the discomfort that comes from the large belly. But even as the baby comes out and the stomach is back to its ideal place, a woman still struggles with a good night’s sleep in other words Postpartum Insomnia.
There are several reasons involved in the Postpartum Insomnia of a woman.In this article, we have mentioned why a woman has to suffer for sleeplessness, what she can do about it, and what small tips can help gain her sleep back. Continue reading the article below to find answers to your queries.
What is Postpartum Insomnia?
Sleeplessness, or insomnia, is a lack of proper sleep during the night due to trigger factors like noise, unhygienic sleeping habits, uncomfortable place to sleep in, and discomfort due to other reasons that may reduce the natural occurrence of sleep.
Insomnia After Delivery And Its Causes:
A woman continues to struggle even after the delivery of her baby. It is already expected that the real physical and mental health challenges come after the birth of the baby because now she has to take care of herself and as well as her baby.
Becoming a mom is not easy. A woman always has it at the back of her mind to take care of her baby, and even the tiniest stimulant can alert a mother about her newborn’s situation. The constant worry to cater to her baby gives a sense of alertness to a woman.
On the other hand, a significant shift of hormones in a woman after her baby’s delivery is another reason she finds it hard to sleep. Her biological clock ticks and also changes dramatically. It is all because of the drop in pregnancy hormones and a spike in other hormones that lead to severely disturbed sleep patterns.
Even so, when a woman is trying to sleep, and she is comfortable, it may not last till the night ends because of the baby. Newborns tend to wake up a lot at night, and this is a significant reason why women find it hard to sleep, or even if they are sleepy, they can’t sleep because they have to look after their babies.
Once a person wakes up from their sleep, they may find it even harder for them to go back to sleep, which may lead to sleeplessness.
All these factors induce insomnia in a person who has several severe effects on their mental and physical health. Owing to the same elements, some women may also become increasingly agitated and frustrated.
Insomnia Lead To A Mental Health Disorder?
Lack of sleep leads to many other problems that affect a person’s overall health and physical health and mental health. Reduced sleep naturally induces a few mental health issues that may further aggravate the problem.
For instance, if a woman has a sleepless night, she will be tired and exhausted by the sun’s time. With no sleep at night, and the continuity of the same tiresome routine of every day may add to her exhaustion.
If this happens several times during a week, then it is nor hard to expect that a human essentially becomes irritable, cranky, and edgy most of the day. A person may get angry at small things during the day. All such elements may pile up over time until a person mentally shuts down and blows up.
If all of it keeps happening for an extended period, then in no time will all of these factors convert into mental health disorder. The most common of such diseases is depression.
Postpartum depression is a ubiquitous phenomenon amongst new mothers. Although there are multiple reasons involved in why a woman develops postpartum depression; however, lack of sleep and increased tiredness is a major contributing factor in causing this.
What Are The Symptoms Of Postpartum Insomnia?
It is of little doubt that several nights of sleeplessness triggers a person and can present with various symptoms. The most common symptom of postpartum insomnia is listed below:
It is natural for a person to become irritable after a severe lack of sleep. However, becoming irritable may also drastically affect their relationship with their spouse and family, resulting in negative behavior. Irritability may also convert into angst and anger.
Insomnia Mood swings:
A person may also experience severe mood swings during their day. It involves periods of low mood replaced by periods of happy mood. This alteration of emotions occurs several times during the day.
Anxiety is a common side effect of insomnia. Likewise, anxiety also tends to affect a person and their daily chores. Fear will also make a person stress about the next night, where they will again have to stay up taking care of their babies and again live through the night without sleep.
Another natural side effect of lack of sleep affects the behavior of a person. It makes them live through the day with low mood along with disinterest in usually interesting things, staying alone and low energy.
Insomnia not only significantly affects the mind, but also the physical health of a person. After a few days, the body gives up with no sleep to help the body regain its strength. A person may become extremely fatigued, with little energy to pull off their tasks.
How long does postpartum insomnia last?
There is no time limit to postpartum insomnia. For some, it may go away after the mother has adapted to the new pattern, and when her baby starts to sleep through the night. Nevertheless, it can last for as long as weeks and even months if it is left untreated. It is essential to seek help if the lack of sleep is severely affecting a person’s daily routine.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is a term used to define the habit adapted to improve sleep and this pattern. It includes all the factors that a person practices to have a good night’s sleep. Anything that helps with sleep comes under sleep hygiene. Simple things like removing the triggering elements or cutting down on screen time to induce sleep are all part of sleep hygiene.
11 Tips For New Mothers Suffering From Postpartum Insomnia:
Eliminate the triggers
The first thing to do is get rid of everything that disturbs your sleep, or it may wake you up during the middle of your sleep. All of it includes a ticking clock. You need to put it somewhere else, and if you have construction work near your house, then it is recommended to stay in a room where the least noise penetrates, or you can shift to a family member’s home for some time.
Dripping water, waking up to use the toilet, alarms, uncomfortable pillow, or bed, partner’s snoring must all be taken care of before going to bed.
It is crucial to eliminate such factors so that even when you do start sleeping, and your sleep improves, such triggers do not interfere with your night sleep.
Make an environment
Prepare yourself for bedtime. It is vital to sleep in a room that promotes a good sleep instead of keeping you up. Make sure you have a comfortable bed, sheets, and comforter. The temperature must be sufficient so that you do not feel too hot or cold so that you do not wake up during the night.
The room must be dark, and no light must come from the window. You may also try to get thick curtains if your old curtains allow light to go through. You should not have noise pollution in the area or your room. Ask the people in your house or your partner to maintain the quietness so that you can have a good sleep.
You may also allow your family or your partner to take care of the baby so that you can sleep with peace when you know that your baby is taken care of.
Maintain a routine
You may want to try to set a sleep schedule. If you sleep late during the day, then sleep may become even harder at night. You should set a time to wake up early in the morning. When you do this, you will naturally want to sleep early at night.
After a few days, when you are synced with your schedule, your biological clock will also set its time, and you will find it easier to sleep because your body will work according to its biological clock.
Reduce caffeine intake
We all know the products in caffeine. It contains tobacco, which is a central nervous system stimulator. In other words, when your brain is stimulated, you feel rather alert, active, and fidgety. Since the effects of drinking a lot of caffeine during the day have opposite effects from what we want; therefore, drinking caffeine is not recommended. You may try to cut down your caffeine, as well as alcohol and nicotine.
Relax your mind
One of the most important factors is for you to relax. When you have a clear head with little to worry about, going to sleep is easy. If you overthink situations or you are too anxious about what will happen, then due to this, your brain is constantly working, and it is difficult to go to sleep.
You may want to try breathing exercises that are known to ease your tension and bring peace to your mind. You can try taking deep breaths and think clearly about the positive things in your life. Keep breathing until you fall asleep.
Stay in the dark
Your brain has a tiny gland that releases chemicals that bring sleep. That chemical is only released in the body when your brain thinks it is night time because of the darkness. If you use your phones too much or stay in front of the screen for an extended period, your brain will think it is still day and prevent the release of the crucial chemical for you to fall asleep.
To prevent this from happening, you must put down your phone at least an hour before your time to fall asleep. Also, keeping your rooms dark will help you with more release of the chemical; hence, an easier sleep.
Sleep when tired
One of the few good strategies to sleep is to go to bed only when you are extremely exhausted, and you do not have more energy to stay awake, so when you get on your bed, you will sleep instantly. Otherwise, if you go to bed when you are very sleepy, then you may have wandering thoughts that will keep your brain awake for much longer than it should.
You can complete tasks during your day or add habits that will make you feel tired. You need to keep yourself busy during the day so that you can instantly sleep at the end of the day.
Light exercises, stretches, breathing exercises, and yoga keeps your brain and body healthy. You should consider adding an exercise period to your everyday schedule to promote a healthy routine. In addition to this, daily exercises will also mean you will exhaust your body just enough so that you fall asleep.
Increased fluid intake
You should try to increase your fluid intake to just the right level so that you do not wake up during your sleep with thirst, not drink too much so that you have to keep using the toilet to pee.
Seek professional help for mental health issues
It is mandatory to visit and speak with a professional if things are getting out of hand, and it is severely having an unhealthy effect on your mind. A professional will be able to help you much better and put a stop to your mental issues. It is also important to prevent your mental problems from turning into a chronic condition.
The chronic the condition, the worse effects it has on the body. It becomes even harder to treat chronic conditions.
Involving your partner
Having a child is the equal responsibility of both the parents, but it is understandable that a woman has to do more of the job. However, the child’s father can help by taking care of the baby while the mother can have some sleep.
The partner can take half the responsibility of the baby, so the mother can have some me-time.