Tossing and turning on the maternity ward? Give yourself the best sleep odds with our to-do list
You did it! Your baby’s actually here. Check him out, looking all adorable asleep next to your maternity ward bed.
If only you could do the same, right? Suddenly, even though labour was tiring, you feel far too restless/alert/excited/overwhelmed (delete as appropriate) to sleep a wink.
And, truth be told, chances are you’re not going to have your most peaceful night’s slumber on a potentially busy hospital ward.
Still, if you do want to give it a go and have a break from all that endless looking at your intriguing newborn (seriously, how did the two of you make something that awesome?), arm yourself with some handy hospital shuteye tricks.
1. Read a book
A magazine from the waiting room. That book in your hospital bag. Whatever you decide on, research shows that just six minutes of reading is enough to help us relax and drift off.
2. Count sheep
Yes, it really does work.
3. Go for a walk
Taking into account how easily you can move around of course, sometimes actually getting up for a while can be the key to sleep. That way, you’re not tossing, turning and dwelling on the fact you can’t switch off.
So, perhaps go to the bathroom or have a walk down the corridor.
4. Eat a sleep-friendly snack
If you’re able to eat or drink, ask your partner to pick you up something like a banana or box of chamomile tea before he leaves for the evening. They help aid sleep so could be handy if you can’t nod off.
Research also shows tart cherry juice is rich in the sleep hormone melatonin – although this probably won’t be as available in the hospital canteen so perhaps ask him to hit Waitrose.
5. Switch off your phone
Sure, it may be tempting to Facebook all your new baby photos or browse the Mothercare website, but anything that stimulates you too much can actually hinder sleep, so turn off your phone and iPad.
6. Tune out background noise
If mums, babies and general hospital goings on are stopping you from tuning out and drifting off, put in your headphones and listen to some relaxing music.
We recommend Marconi Union’s Weightless. A study found it’s officially the most relaxing tune EVER because it has a BPM (beats per minute) of 60 – this is the ideal steady beat for your heart rate and brainwaves to synchronise with, leaving you feeling chilled and calm.
7. Write down your thoughts
Will he remember the car seat? Have you got enough clean babygros? What if there’s loads of traffic?
If your mind is spinning, research shows writing down your thoughts down can help get them out of your head.
So, think about packing a notebook or your diary – or failing that, use the back of your hospital notes. Actually, don’t tell your midwife we suggested that.