How to deal with broken sleep?

One of the most challenging things to deal with as a mama with young kids, is broken sleep.

We’ve both had our fair share of sleepless nights (still do!) Vicky’s son didn’t sleep through the night until he was close to five years old and I remember waking every 45 mins for months with my first bub and when the twins came along – I found myself most nights ‘just keeping myself awake waiting for my next feed, nappy change or settle’ because I was so exhausted of the feeling ‘being woken’ all of the time. I’d keep myself awake almost waiting for my next ‘call’. I was exhausted of being exhausted. You get it, right?!

One thing that we both acknowledge that helped us through those first few years was trying our hardest to keep up our fuel, our “food” and energy levels at their optimum levels.

A short and sharp “workout” that would energise us for the next 24 hours ahead and give our minds some instant clarity and boost of patience.

Tips to deal with broken sleep

Here are a few tips to think about if you’re feeling exhausted as a mama and/or trying to deal with broken sleep;

Surrender to the day/night and just remember, you’re only human. When we don’t get sleep, we simply don’t function properly. Our minds are foggy, our bodies feel depleted and our patience and moods are effected. That’s normal. Acknowledge it and know that you’re still an amazing mummy!

  • We’re both fans of a gentle routine – for us and for our kids. Not every day goes to plan, but having a little structure to your days often helps.
  • Try and cook a few meals a week in advance on the weekend and have some whole food staples in the fridge for you to snack on (even if it is a midnight munchie after a feed!)
  • Consume some lean protein, good fats and carbohydrates at most meals and snacks. 
  • Consume a minimum of 2L of water per day, even more if you’re breastfeeding.
  • A protein smoothie is honestly THE BEST, energising mummy snack at 4pm. Curb the sugar cravings and kick-start your metabolism.
  • Cut out refined sugar. It’s often the first thing we reach for when we’re tired and just ‘need something RIGHT now’! It makes us feel good for about 5 mins and then you’ll either feel the need ‘to have more and more’ or you’ll feel your blood sugar levels spike and then come crumbling down – and feel even more exhausted then before.
  • After a month of no refined sugar – you’ll kick those cravings for good! Try snacking on a piece of fruit with a tablespoon of ‘good fats’ with it ie- peanut butter, coconut cream, handful of nuts. Still looking for sugar? Increase your good fats even more! Another option is to make your 4pm smoothie a clean, nutrient-dense “chocolate” one. 
  • If exercise and doing workouts is completely new to you – start small. We cannot reiterate this enough! Aim for 2 workouts a week and a gentle walk. Do them in the morning, often when bub is happy and your energy levels are somewhat at their peak. 

Getting a good mattress

Finding the right mattress isn’t about searching out the highest-tech brand or spending the most money. “A much more expensive mattress doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better,” Decker says. A high price tag is a product of both the materials that go into the mattress, and the marketing that helps sell it. Read mattress blogs like Each Night to find out more.

Instead of focusing on price and brand name, think about what you want in a mattress. “Selecting a mattress is very personal,” Decker says. Some people prefer a firmer mattress; others favor a softer style.

Do we believe in taking workout supplements to boost energy? Short answer if you’re a mama who is dealing with broken sleep and possibly breastfeeding? No. We do believe in adding extra ‘protein’ through a natural protein blend, but in terms of ‘pre workout supplements’ for mums – just be careful. Whatever you take, make sure it’s natural. Our best pre-workout? A coffee!

Know when to rest, not quit. Had an extra bad night? Forget the workout and turn your focus to consuming even more quality, whole foods. Often when I was that exhausted with the twins, I’d put them both in bouncers at my feet in the kitchen, or in their highchairs, put on some calming music, put my phone on silent, candles on and just cook and prepare meals and snacks in the kitchen. I’m not a great cook, chef or know hundreds of recipes off by heart – but when I think of food as medicine and a way to nourish my family, I see it as an act of love and just prepare bits and pieces. It’s quite therapeutic. Some days were so hectic when the twins were young and my oldest was just two years old, that my only goal for the day was to feed everyone and sleep. And they were the best priorities to have!

Start off small. Baby steps have profound, lifestyle changes.

Remind yourself that nourishing yourself is part of your nourishing your family. Your energy often radiates through your entire circle of love (your family). Take the pressure off yourself and allow a little TLC to enter.

The Stay Strong Mummy Fitness Plan includes gentle, nourishing and loving advice to get started. In addition to mapping out the best, nutrient-dense mummy meals, snacks and workouts – it includes lifestyle advice on resting, self-love, routine and structure.

It also includes some of our favourite protein smoothie recipes using our carefully crafted Superfood Protein Blend designed specifically for mummies who need a little support everyday.