If you’re a new mother, it’s more than likely your sleeping habits will have been impacted by your new arrival.
A recent study, published in July 2014, following the sleeping habits of 33 new mothers, to track their levels of sleep deprivation.
The mothers demonstrated significant levels of sleep deprivation for over four months following the birth, which affected functioning during the daytime.
It can be difficult to prevent sleep disruption when you’re caring for a newborn, but there are lots of things you can do to make the most of your time in the bedroom.
Here are six tips to help you create a deeply relaxing sleep sanctuary:
1. No electronics!
Electronic devices, such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets, have been found to negatively affect the quality of sleep.
Whilst the blue light emanating from these devices can be beneficial in the daytime, particularly in relation to alertness, they disrupt the hormones required to send us to sleep.
The light from electronic devices has the same effect as daylight: it keeps us awake.
To avoid this, when your baby sleeps during the day, head to the sleep sanctuary – but leave your electronic devices outside.
2. Use relaxing colours
Whilst decorating is unlikely to be the first thing on your mind whilst caring for a newborn, it might help to improve the quality of your sleep.
UK hotel chain, Travelodge, studied bedroom wall colours in 2,000 homes. According to their data, the best colour to use when creating a sleep sanctuary is blue, which is known to make people feel calmer and more relaxed.
Furthermore, 58% of those sleeping in blue bedrooms reported to be feeling refreshed when they woke up.
The worst colours were found to be purple, brown and grey, so if your bedroom is painted any of these colours, it’s time to pick up a paintbrush!
3. Invest in some blockout blinds
For new mothers, blockout blinds are essential for creating a perfect sleeping environment.
If your sleep has been disrupted during the night, it’s likely you’ll want to get some extra sleep during the daytime, whilst your baby is sleeping.
Blockout blinds make this possible, as they ensure your bedroom is kept in total darkness, even when it’s light outside.
Research has found that sleeping in a dark room is important for a number of reasons. Darkness prompts the body to produce melatonin, a hormone that lets our bodies know when it’s time to go to sleep. If you only put one of these tips to good use, you should choose this one.
4. Unwind with aromatherapy
If you’ve tried all of the above, but you’re still having difficulty drifting off, you might want to consider getting hold of some aromatherapy oils. Research has found that lavender can be used to treat sleep difficulties, so this could be the best choice for your sleep sanctuary, too.
In one study, participants reported that the quality of their sleep improved by up to 20%. Lavender is inexpensive, and readily available, so it makes a great addition to any sleep sanctuary.
5. Play relaxing music or sleep meditation
Some people prefer to sleep in a quiet room but, for others, relaxing music or sleep meditation can help tremendously. Little research exists to support sleep meditation, but recordings can be downloaded for little cost.
Many new mothers claim that, since giving birth, they find it difficult to “switch off”. If this is the case, sleep meditation can be useful as a distraction technique.
6. Ensure the bedroom is the correct temperature
Finally, to make the most out of your new sleep sanctuary, you should ensure it’s the correct temperature.
Sleep experts claim the optimal temperature for the bedroom is 18c, so use the air conditioning or invest in a fan during the warmer months.
Do you have any other tips to share that have worked for you? Please share in the comments below.