The term “sleeping like a baby” is frequently used to describe a restful nap or an uninterrupted night’s sleep. However, for the majority of new parents, this comprehension of language is incomprehensible and may even be an irritant. This is because many infants do not sleep properly. What then does he do? Really Do you want to sleep like a baby?
While infants may sleep up to 19 hours per day, they normally awaken to feed every few hours. As a result, they and their parents frequently do not sleep well, or at least not for long stretches. Even when their child is no longer a baby, many parents continue to seek strategies to assist their child sleep through the night.
In light of this, there is no formal explanation for this word, although it is commonly used to mean “a tranquil, calm, and restful slumber, as one may witness when a newborn sleeps calmly in his cradle,” according to the author.
But what does it actually mean to sleep like a baby? Dr. Winter laughs, “That depends on whose parent you ask.” Nonetheless, there are measures that may be taken to assist you come closer to the recognised definition of the word by identifying the obstacles that may be preventing you from experiencing the calm, restful, excellent sleep that Dr. Winter mentions.
There are various reasons why someone might not be sleeping like a baby, but Dr. Winter and other mental health specialists point to stress and worry as one of the primary causes. The good news is that it is feasible to address the origins of these sleep-robbing culprits and sleep worry-free like a normal person.
How anxiety and stress may prevent a newborn from sleeping
Thea Gallagher, Psy.D., associate professor of clinical psychology at NYU Langone Health and co-host of the podcast mind in sight, explains that for some people, anxiety or worry might prevent them from sleeping. “If you are apprehensive and tense, it might be more difficult to calm down and relax your body,” she continues. You experience difficulties going asleep and remaining asleep.
“If you’re anxious and nervous, it can be harder to slow down and relax your body.” —Thea Gallagher, PsyD
Even after identifying worry or stress as potential sleep disruptors, coping with these feelings might impair the quality of your sleep. According to Dr. Winter, persons with high levels of anxiety tend to sleep less deeply than those with lower levels of anxiety, and they may overestimate the amount of sleep they are actually receiving, sometimes by several hours. According to Dr. Winter, this might cause patients to feel anxious about their lack of sleep, which could lead to further stress.
So how can you tell whether stress or worry is preventing you from sleeping like a baby? Dr. Winter recommends looking for the following six symptoms.
- It is difficult for you to fall asleep.
- You frequently awaken during the night.
- You have difficulty falling back asleep after you awaken.
- You feel purified throughout the day.
- You are discontent with your dream.
- You frequently experience disturbing nightmares, such as drowning or being pursued.
After determining that any of these conditions are true, you may take actions to improve your sleep by lowering your stress levels and, perhaps, beginning to sleep better.
Four strategies for sleeping without worry
This is easier said than done, despite the fact that learning to sleep without concern sounds nice and can alleviate the tension of anxiety during waking hours. If it were simple, we’d all do it, right? However, according to physicians, there are several techniques you may do to relax and clear your thoughts before bed. Then you will be more likely to sleep as soundly as a newborn.
- Before bed, avoid stressful events. This includes refraining from watching the news, reading political material, and perusing stressful communications, according to Winter.
- Increase your afternoon activity level. Dr. Winter says, “Release your anxiousness with physical activity.” Just avoid doing this before night, since exercise might make you feel more energised.
- Try practising breathing exercises. According to Dr. Gallagher, breath training, in which you inhale as you count, hold, and exhale, “helps your mind return to the present and calm down.” She claims that this might assist prepare your thoughts for sleep.
- Observe mindfulness. Dr. Winter recommends meditating, praying, or doing yoga before bed to help you “let go of the day’s stress.”
If you continue to have trouble falling asleep or feel that concern is keeping you up at night, it may be time to consult a mental health expert. Dr. Winter emphasises, “Anxiety is a medical issue.” “Seek assistance if your own efforts fail.”