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Why mothers do not sleep well

You spend your entire day looking after the children but you hardly get any sleep at night. Here are some mistakes you may be making. Correcting these mistakes and making some adjustments may help you to get proper sleep and take proper care of your children.

Vaidehi is a mother of two children and spends her entire day seeing to their needs as well as looking after the house. Even after running around during the day, she still has trouble falling asleep. Vaidehi barely sleeps for four hours in the night. This has resulted in her feeling tired during the day.

When you have children, you tend to put their needs first. However, to look after your children properly, you need to take care of yourself first. Proper sleep is one of the necessities of good health. Read about some common sleep mistakes mothers make.

Multi-tasking before bedtime

During the day, your children take up most of your time. If your children are not yet going to school, they will be at home all day. During this time, you cannot leave them alone, even for a minute. Therefore, many women prefer to go about their housework after their children fall asleep. While you may find yourself getting more work done during the day, this can also lead you to having trouble falling asleep.

A bedtime routine that relaxes you gradually is essential to help you fall asleep. If you are busy trying to get things done, you are likely to feel more keyed up and thus have trouble sleeping. Aim to follow a routine to calm you down each night. Every night, engage in some activities to relax you at least one hour before you sleep. This prepares your body to go into a more restful mode. For example, have a bath and follow it up with half an hour of light reading or listen to some classical music.

Waiting for your child to fall asleep

As far as possible, encourage your child to sleep in his own room once he is a year old. In addition, do not wait in his room until he falls asleep. Doing so means he will get used to having you around, which may prevent him from going back to sleep if he wakes up later in the night. When you rush to comfort him, this will disrupt your sleep as well.

Follow a normal bedtime routine with your child and try to end it before he falls asleep. Make sure he uses the toilet before he goes to bed. Once you tell him his bedtime story, tuck him in, say goodnight, and leave the room. Do not wait until he is fast asleep. This way, your child will learn to sleep by himself. Even if he wakes up in between, he can go back to sleep.

Initially, when you leave your child alone, be prepared for tantrums and bouts of crying. Do not feel guilty. All children go through this natural phase. For a few days, he will cry himself to sleep. After that, he will adjust to being left alone.

Oversleeping on holidays

If you wake up early during the week, you might be tempted to sleep in on weekends and make up for the lost sleep. Do not oversleep for more than one hour otherwise it disrupts your sleep rhythm. If you normally wake up at six but on weekends, sleep in until noon, you are disturbing your normal body cycle. Alternating sleep timings every weekend creates havoc with your metabolism. When you wake up after oversleeping, you will find yourself feeling groggy and unable to focus for the rest of the day.

Counter sleep deprivation by opting for short naps during the day. A mid-morning and afternoon nap of 10 to 15 minutes each is more than enough to chase away drowsiness and make you feel refreshed.

How you sleep has a direct bearing on the quality of your life. A good night's rest will leave you ready to take on the challenges of the coming day.

How many hours do you sleep at night? Do you feel children should learn to sleep by themselves? What strategies do you employ to get a good night's sleep? To share your tips, views, and experiences, click here.

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