With our busy lives as moms, the one thing that we really want to count on is waking up rested. Some women are blessed with easy sleep. They fall asleep and stay asleep through the night easily, but if you’re the kind that can not fall back asleep after those frequent night wake ups with your baby it can really take it’s toll on you.
Personally, I have always had problems with falling asleep and staying asleep through the night.
During my son’s early years, sleep was particularly difficult for me. After his night feedings, or if he woke up when he was teething, I often could not go back to sleep. I’d be up for hours, agitated and exhausted by morning, while my baby went back to sleep.
Since I was breastfeeding, I wanted to be alert to my baby’s cries and I didn’t want to take strong sleep aids. So I went about finding what would help me go back to sleep at night after waking up, was natural, and safe while breastfeeding.
Here are my sleep tips for breastfeeding moms:
1. Take a calcium/magnesium mineral supplement before bed since it helps with a deeper sleep.
2. Experiment with gentle herb sleep aids to find one that is not too strong. A little can be sufficient.
3. Homeopathic sleep aids are the gentlest and best for nursing moms and can be taken frequently. Every 5 minutes if needed.
4. Keep lights low in the evening.
5. Avoid bright lights if you’re awake.
6. Listen to deep relaxation CD’s so that your body can at least go into relaxation mode even if you can’t sleep.
7. Keep room as dark as you can.
8. Hot milk (only dairy works) has a 15 minute window where it helps induce sleep.
9. If you do have a night where you couldn’t get back to sleep make sure in the morning you have protein at breakfast to help stabilize blood sugar which will be out of balance from lack of sleep.
10. Inability to fall back asleep is a symptom of overall deficiency. See a licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner for help balancing your body postpartum.
Gentle Sleep Aids
Calms Homeopathic Sleep Aid
A simple and very gentle remedy which can be taken before bed, or if you wake up at night and have difficulty getting back to sleep, is a homeopathic combination called Hyland’s Calms Tablets. There is also a version for kids which works great when they are over stimulated and they can’t calm down, or they are having night time anxieties and scared to go to bed.
It’s important that you get as much good quality sleep as you can. If you’re not able to sleep well over a long period of time, it can really take a toll on your mental and physical health. Devote some time to getting this part of your life working well. It’s highly worth it.
If you’re breastfeeding you may like to consult a lactation consultant or read my breastfeeding and herbal safety article.
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