5 Tips to Create Postpartum Sleep Opportunities

5 tips to create sleep opportunities

Did you know that adequate sleep can treat mild postpartum depression and even stop it from occurring in the first place? 1

Yet finding time to sleep seems impossible for most new moms.

The phrase “sleep when the baby sleeps” may have good intentions, but it’s not entirely realistic. For example, if the baby falls asleep while you are driving, do you close your eyes and try to sleep, too? No, of course not.

What is helpful about this phrase is looking at the “opportunity” to sleep and how to create more opportunities.

Here are 5 tips to create postpartum sleep opportunities:

  1. Prioritize sleep over other chores, like doing dishes or laundry. Instead, try to get 5 more minutes than yesterday, every day.
  2. Identify times you can sleep either during daytime naps or at night. If possible, share night dutieswith a partner or family member or night nurse.
  3. Make a list of who you can ask for help so you can sleep and set a schedule. This may be a friend who can come over for a few hours so you can sleep during the day.
  4. Drink healthy. Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol so when you have the opportunity to sleep, you can get restful sleep.
  5. Meditate, which helps prepare the body for sleep by slowing your heart rate and lowering levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.2

You cannot truly improve your mental health without sleep, so focus on creating more opportunities to rest when possible. To learn more about the impacts of sleep on your mental health, read of our blog You Need More Sleep to Support Postpartum Depression.

Remember, if you have postpartum depression and anxiety or are just not feeling like yourself yet after childbirth, this will get better. You will feel like yourself again – and more sleep will help.

If you cannot sleep when you have the opportunity to, please talk to your healthcare provider immediately for help.


  1. Washington Post
  2. WebMD

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