This post is in partnership with Mattress Firm.
I’m sure all of us can finish the sentence “You know you’re a tired mom if. . .” with something outrageous that’s happened due to lack of sleep. The average parent loses a third of their nightly sleep after having a baby, according to a survey of 2,000 parents commissioned by Mattress Firm. This finding should surprise exactly no one, as research (and common sense) shows that sleep loss is a major challenge when a new baby comes into the house. The side effects of sleep deprivation range from the humorous faux pas (at least in hindsight) to a serious mistake. The same survey found that 33 percent of parents reported falling asleep at work and 22 percent were so tired they fell asleep standing up!
Also unsurprising, moms lose more sleep than dads. Sixty-seven percent of female respondents with male partners said their fellas got more sleep in the first year of parenthood than they did. We collected a list of real-life things moms have done when they were tired and turned them into a quiz: How Sleep Deprived Are You? Here are some of the highlights from the list, as confessed by tired moms.
Share your #SoTired moments in the comments and read on for ways to help yourself get to sleep.
You Know You’re a Tired Mom If. . .
You think the sexiest thing anyone can say to you right now is, “Why don’t you get some sleep, baby. I’ll handle this.”
You put the milk away in a kitchen cabinet instead of the fridge.
You didn’t notice that you were eating dinner with two forks because you’d given your partner two knives.
You’ve driven away in the car leaving behind your stroller and diaper bag (and possibly the child!).
You’ve forgotten to attach bottles to your breast pump, only realizing your faux pas once milk started spraying all over your lap.
You accidentally spilled a bottle of breastmilk and mourned the loss like a close family member had died.
You tried pushing your glasses up the bridge of your nose but poked yourself in the eye because you weren’t actually wearing glasses.
You’ve worn the same outfit to work two days in a row because you fell asleep in them and forgot to change in the morning.
You’ve worn two different shoes out in public.
You forgot what you were doing while you were in the middle of doing it.
Work Hard, Sleep Harder
Mattress Firm knows we’re working hard, but they want to help us find ways to sleep even harder. A restful night’s sleep can have a dramatic impact on our lives. Who hasn’t felt like an entirely different person once you’ve finally gotten solid sleep? It’s essential for resolving stress and preparing for the day ahead.
Still, I find that sleep often gets short-changed at the end of a busy day because other work and household tasks simply must get done before bedtime. As a new mom, it was flat out impossible to get sufficient sleep, and once we were over the hump of midnight feedings and diaper duty, transfers to toddler beds, potty training, nightmares, and early wake-ups still interrupt my slumber.
But that doesn’t stop me from trying to get the best night’s sleep I can – not only for my own health and well being but for my poor family and friends who would otherwise have to put up with Cranky Rebecca, and nobody needs her in their lives.
Here are ways to get the best sleep you can.
Upgrade your mattress.
No surprise that this is on the list, right? Mattresses are investments, and it’s so common to prioritize other purchases over buying a new one. I have friends who slept on a full-size mattress from college for the first five years of their marriage! Until recently, my 6′ 5″ husband and I slept on a 12-year-old queen size mattress that we hated, but we didn’t think a larger mattress could fit in our small bedroom. Finally, after too many nights throwing ‘bows, we figured out that a California King could actually work, and we bought one ASAP. (It helps that there’s a Mattress Firm store literally a block from our house. Click to find your nearest location.)
Having a comfy mattress makes SUCH a difference. More space to spread out and better support on my back helps me feel livelier in the morning, even if I was up with one or both of my children the night before. Having an adjustable base on your mattress is also incredibly helpful if you’re a new parent who wants to comfortably breast or bottle feed your baby in bed.
Get your baby to sleep.
The average parent spends 74 minutes a day (that’s 19 full days in the first year of infancy!) trying to get their babies to fall asleep. Check out our resources to help maximize your little one’s sleep so you can get some Zzz’s of your own.
Get yourself to sleep.
Even when our kids are sleeping well, it’s not always easy for us to fall asleep and stay asleep. Mentally running through our To Do list, anticipating the baby waking up, and staying up late to finally get some alone time all get in the way of a good snooze. Check out these resources to create better sleep habits for yourself.
I’m hopeful we will all get more rest at some point. In the meantime, let’s do what we can to minimize the number of times we hear “you look tired” on a daily basis. Share how you plan to #WorkHardSleepHarder!