2017 has so far seen a boom in celebrity
pregnancies, with big names like Beyonce, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
and Binky Felstead amongst those expected to give birth this
summer.


Cheryl's well-hidden pregnancy has been followed closely by the
nation and finally, on Mother's Day, she revealed that she had
given birth to a healthy baby boy.


Silentnight's sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, has first-hand
experience of being a new mother. She shares her tips to help new
mums through those first few weeks with a baby.


Dr Nerina says: "We place too much emphasis on the amount of
time we're supposed to sleep but it's more important that we focus
on achieving quality, deep sleep, rather than a quota of hours. As
a new mum, it's important to make the most of any free time you
have restfully and to take regular naps of no more than 15 mins,
when you can, in order to re-energise."


From using a white noise machine to power napping, she reveals
how to get a good night's rest:


  1. LEARN HOW TO POWER NAP -  While it might
    be easier said than done to sleep when the baby sleeps, resting
    during the day will lessen the effects of sleep deprivation and
    improve the quality of your sleep at night. It's too easy to say
    'I'll just get some chores done', but before you know it, baby is
    awake and needing your attention again. A power nap is a short
    sleep lasting five to 15 minutes, when you will approach a near
    sleep state without actually falling asleep. Incorporating
    visualisation techniques - relaxing scenes, for example - can make
    it even more effective. If you are exhausted, you might find it
    helpful to use a stopwatch or alarm clock to stop you falling into
    a deep sleep. The more you practise, the easier it will get and the
    more rejuvenated you will feel.

  2. WHAT TO DO IF YOU WAKE UP DURING THE NIGHT
    It's inevitable that you will be woken, sometimes
    repeatedly, during the early days of your baby's life. However,
    there are a few tricks that you can use to get yourself back to
    sleep more easily. Be prepared: try to have everything on hand for
    a quick feed or nappy change and if you have to put a light on, use
    a low-level bedside lamp. The less time you are exposed to light,
    the easier it will be to get back to sleep again. Don't be tempted
    to check your phone, as the blue light from screens tricks your
    brain into thinking it's more awake than it is, making it more
    difficult to get back to sleep. Avoid checking the time: if you do
    this, you are more likely to start worrying about how little sleep
    you might get.

  3. IF YOU REALLY CAN'T GET TO SLEEP -  Use
    the time to relax. Abandon all attempts to sleep and allow yourself
    to just rest. Tell yourself 'It doesn't matter if I don't sleep
    tonight; I'm just going to rest'. It's tricky but you might be
    surprised how quickly you get to sleep. Alternatively, get up and
    do something relaxing. Read a book, have a cup of camomile tea or
    warm milk, or even do some ironing to tire you out.

  4. DE-CLUTTER YOUR SLEEP ENVIRONMENT -  Try
    to keep your sleep environment free of clutter and baby's toys. The
    ideal temperature for good sleep is slightly cool, so ensure the
    room is ventilated by having windows open. Alternatively, invest in
    a bedroom fan. It can be a great way to keep things cool, and can
    also help to create a white noise effect that cuts out distracting
    background noises.

  5. GET SOME EXERCISE -  One of the hardest
    things to do when you're a new mother and you're exhausted is to
    find time for exercise, but this will help you to both relieve
    stress and sleep more effectively. Exercise helps to reduce levels
    of adrenaline and other stress hormones and it boosts the
    production of hormones which 'repair' the body, making your immune
    system and overall health more robust. It doesn't have to mean
    going to the gym or running: a 20-minute brisk walk can boost the
    production of endorphins.