Hacks To Get Some Sleep With a Newborn (For Parents)

en 29 ene 2024

Hack Your Environment

In today’s blog we are going to talk about some hacks to get some sleep with a newborn.

  • The importance of sleep
  • Having a baby
  • What can you do?
  • Conclusion

The Importance Of Sleep

Sleep is an essential (1) function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave of diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly. This can impair your abilities to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories.

Most adults require between seven and nine hours of nightly sleep. Children and teenagers need substantially more sleep, particularly if they are younger than five years of age. 

sleep with a newborn

There is an internal “body clock” that regulates your sleep cycle, controlling when you feel tired and ready for bed or refreshed and alert. This clock operates on a 24-hour cycle known as the circadian rhythm.

Light heavily influences the circadian rhythm. The brain contains a special region of nerve cells known as the hypothalamus, and a cluster of cells in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which processes signals when the eyes are exposed to natural or artificial light. These signals help the brain determine whether it is day or night.

As natural light disappears in the evening, the body will release melatonin, a hormone that induces drowsiness. When the sun rises in the morning, the body will release the hormone known as cortisol that promotes energy and alertness.

If you find yourself exposed to bright light during the evening, be aware that it might affect your natural sleep cycle. Managing light exposure can be a part of maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm.

Having A Baby

Becoming a parent is something to celebrate but, as we all know, it comes with some inevitable challenges, especially around sleep. Trying to get some sleep with a newborn can be really tough, but there are some things you can do to increase the chances of having a restful night.

Our co-founder, James, faced challenges in maintaining sleep with a newborn. He tried various approaches to manage his sleep quality, which we’re excited to share with you.

Six Confessions Of A New Dad: The Home Truths Of Having A Newborn

What Can You Do?

As you have just read, light is the factor that signals your brain when it’s time to stay awake or go to sleep. The hacks we are going to share with you, all take into account that principle, to turn it to your favour.

  • Hack 1: Red Light Therapy every morning.

Doing a red light therapy session will not possibly energise you for the day, but will potentially act as a circadian marker. This means it will indicate your brain that the day has started and cortisol can be released.

James found that starting his day with red light therapy sessions helped him feel more energized. While some people find it beneficial as a part of their morning routine, remember that individual experiences may vary.

There are also a decent amount of studies (2) that show that red light exposure in the morning can cause an increase in melatonin production and deeper sleep as a result in the evening.

 

  • Hack 2: Red bulbs or candles in the evening.

Creating a calm lighting environment in the evening can be soothing. James experimented with red bulbs and candles to create a sunset-like atmosphere in his home.

Ideally you want to avoid any possible bright light entering your eyes after sunset. This part is arguably ‘critical’ to ensure your body does not start releasing cortisol (like it would do in the morning), instead of melatonin that prepares you for sleep. 

 dim lights

  • Hack 3: Use blue blocking glasses 1-2h before bedtime

If you can’t change all your bulbs or have no way to change the color of your environment, you might find blue light blocking glasses very helpful. 

James incorporated blue blocking glasses into his evening routine, which he found helpful. He wore them religiously 2 hours before getting into bed, and also every time he had to get up throughout the night. Similar to using red light, the glasses ensure that the eyes are protected from any blue light exposure. 

While this worked for him, it's important to find a routine that suits your individual needs.

blue light glasses

Along with these changes, James also explored supplements like Magnesium and Niacin, taken before bed. If you’re considering supplements, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider to find what’s best for you.

Lastly, create a routine with your partner so you both have the chance to sleep every other night. If that is not possible because of work, do weekends and weekdays. It really is important to be on this together so you both have time to rest and be there for the baby. 

As James put it, “The last 8 weeks have been incredible, a truly magical time for my family and I. It has also brought me back to the power of these bio-hacks, and the effects they can have on sleep and life quality.”

 As James experienced, adjusting his environment and routine had a positive impact on his life with a newborn. These 'bio-hacks' were part of his personal journey in adapting to parenthood and finding balance.

Conclusion

If you're navigating parenthood and looking for ways to improve your sleep, you might find these suggestions helpful. Remember, every parent’s experience is unique, so it's about finding what works best for you and your family.

Check out our red light therapy devices and blue light blocking eyewear and protect your sleep and your health during this beautiful yet challenging chapter of your life.

Sources of information:

  1. Why do we need to sleep – https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/why-do-we-need-sleep
  2. Red Light and the Sleep Quality and Endurance Performance of Chinese Female Basketball Players
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3499892/

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