Nursing a young child can mean many broken nights of sleep and an interrupted sleeping pattern that’s erratic at best. Thank God it’s not permanent, but it can nonetheless be stressful and unpleasant.
As a new parent with hours to kill, here are some ways you can while away those sleepless nights…
(Dropping hints? Here are five great gifts all new parents will love).
Start your own journal
The practice of keeping a journal might seem a little old fashioned in this digital age. But lots of people still keep a diary or journal, both online and on paper. And those sleepless nights when you’re alone with your thoughts are the perfect time to start your own.
A journal is a great gift for your child as they grow up too. Write about parenthood, your hopes and dreams for your child, and how excited you are to see them grow up.
As your child grows older and starts to have kids of their own, it’ll bring them great pleasure to see how their own parents experienced that same joy too.
Catch up with friends
Just because everyone in the house except you (and your baby) are asleep, it doesn’t mean everyone else is. With the rise of social media, it’s easier than ever to get in touch with your friends around the world.
And even if your friends or family are asleep, now is the perfect time to write them an email or even a letter to catch up. Why not reach out to an old connection from your college days and see what they’re up to? You never know, you might rekindle an old friendship entirely!
Play games to improve your mind, have fun, and kill time
Playing games is more than just a fun way to pass the time — it’s good for you. Video, board, card, and strategy games have been shown to improve memory, motor skills, spatial orientation, and overall brain agility.
There are lots of game options available to suit any taste. Older video games consoles are often very cheap, and many have online playing functions too — check out eBay to snap up some deals. Plus, with the internet at your fingertips, there is no shortage of players willing to take you on.
There are also many great casinos where you can try games for free without ever making the transition to real money if you don’t want to. Online Casinos has plenty to choose from, with games ranging from popular classics like poker and roulette to new favorites such as Sic Bo or video slots.
Catch up your favorite books, films, and TV shows
Your sleepless nursing nights are the perfect time to catch up on all the books, box sets, and films you’ve been meaning to watch, completely guilt-free.
Reading a good book is always a fun pastime, and it’s perfect for killing time during sleepless nights. And even if you’re not a fan of reading, there are lots of audiobook services like Audible that you can listen to — ideal for when your hands are busy nursing or catching up on odd jobs.
Subscription streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Video are surprisingly affordable, and carry an ever-changing rotation of films and TV shows for you to browse. As well as box office hits, these services offer a great range of indie productions that are well worth watching. Find all the best ones here.
And one of the benefits of the rise in popularity of these streaming sites is that people are giving away their old DVD box sets to charity stores. Scour the shelves of your nearest thrift shop and discover some classics that you’ve always been meaning to watch but never found the time to see.
Never watched The Sopranos but always wanted to? Now is the time to get started.
Enjoy some relaxing arts and crafts
Your sleepless nursing nights are the perfect time to start a new hobby. You’ve got time on your hands and no-one calling you or knocking at the door — just you and your crafts.
These kind of hobbies are also great for improving your mental skills and exploring that hobby you’ve always wanted to pursue. And if you get good enough, you could give your creations as gifts — you could even start a business selling your creations online. Crafts can also be very therapeutic too, perfect for when you’re ready to return to bed for a good night’s sleep.
Don’t know where to start? YouTube has literally millions of videos teaching you how to do everything from knitting and sewing to stenciling and pyrography. With so much choice at your fingertips, you’ll be sure to find a crafts hobby to suit you.
You don’t need to be sound asleep to enjoy the benefits of rest. Simply lying down with your eyes closed is enough to give your tired brain a rest, letting your muscles relax, and helping you recharge. This is known as quiet wakefulness.
However, this process does not provide the same benefits as sleep. When we’re asleep, our brain processes all our memories from the day, our cells repair, and our body releases important hormones that help keep us in working order.
Quiet wakefulness, on the other hand, just recharges us a little. It’s the equivalent to closing all the apps running on our smartphone. It doesn’t recharge the battery completely, but it helps keep it running that bit longer.
So no, quiet wakefulness nowhere near as effective as sleeping. But when you just can’t shut off and get a good night’s sleep, it’s a strong second choice.
Suffering through those sleepless nights? Suffer no more! The activities listed above are perfect for keeping you sane during those twilight hours. Start one of the examples listed above and make the most of your sleepless nights today.