What is sleep training and how can it help?
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”— Maya Angelou.
Simply put, sleep training is getting your baby to fall asleep on their own. There are various methods to achieving this goal, but I used a “cry-it-out” method. When my last baby was six months old, I began sleep training him. I don’t know if I did it because he is my second baby or if I was just so accustomed to sleeping through the night that I did not want to suffer any longer than necessary from sleep deprivation. Either way, I sleep trained our son like a BOSS! It took about two weeks to get him used to falling asleep on his own and in just a month he was sleeping through the night (about 6-7 hours straight).
A simple google search and/or library run will get you some pretty useful information on sleep training methods. If you think sleep training is for you, you can read about the different styles and decide if one fits you.
How could sleep training benefit your fitness journey?
This is another simple answer, but I think I will take the scenic route so you can really get the picture.
Imagine only sleeping for about 3-4 hours a night, but not straight. More like 1.5 hours asleep, wake up, set up nursing pillow, lift crying, hungry baby from bassinet, feed baby for 10-20 minutes on each boob, burp baby, look sleepily and adoringly into each others’ eyes, plead with baby to go to sleep, lay down so you can sleep also, close eyes, wake up 1.5 hours later to start the whole thing over.
Just like I did back then, you may be wondering how will I ever get back in shape? I was so tired for months, that the only thing I could think about was when and where I was going to catch my next nap. You don’t want to add strenuous workouts to a sleep deprived body! It’s not a recipe that I would recommend. Zero stars.
After doing this for about five months, I was over it! There were things I wanted to do for me. That may sound selfish, but someone has to be selfish for you. My husband was returning to work and I just really wanted to sleep at night. I made a plan to sleep train our son and it worked!
When I finally got back on a pretty good sleeping regimen and found my groove with my, now, two children, I began my fitness journey. I really do believe that I was successful right at the beginning because I was so well rested before approaching my workouts. Getting enough sleep the night before your workouts, will ensure that you have enough energy to power you through to the end. You will have great form and focus while weight training and lots of endurance to push your body and see the results you want to see.
In a nutshell, I wouldn’t begin a strenuous workout regimen until your baby is sleeping 6-7 hours straight at night. Walking is always a good option until then!
Happy Fitness Journeying!
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