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How to Survive on Little Sleep: Tips for Exhausted Parents

How to Survive on Little Sleep: Tips for Exhausted Parents

Parenthood is undoubtedly one of the most joyous and rewarding experiences in life. But it comes with its own set of challenges, and one of them is sleep deprivation. If you are a new parent, chances are you are sleep-deprived and desperate for some shut-eye. But don’t worry! In this article, we will give you some tips on how to survive on little sleep.

Stick to a Sleep Routine

Sleep is essential for parents, especially for those with young babies. One of the best ways to survive on little sleep is by establishing a sleep routine. Stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. This will help regulate your body’s internal clock and make you feel more refreshed.

Take Naps

If you are feeling exhausted during the day, take a quick nap whenever possible. Even a 20-minute nap can be incredibly beneficial for your mind and body. Try to nap when your baby is sleeping or when someone else is watching them. Napping for too long can interfere with your nighttime sleep and cause insomnia.

Reduce Stress

Stress and anxiety can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try to reduce your stress levels by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. You can also try taking a warm bath or reading a book before bedtime to help you unwind.

Take Turns with Your Partner

Taking turns with your partner to care for your baby can help you both get some sleep. If you are breastfeeding, you can pump and leave a bottle for your partner to feed the baby while you catch up on sleep. If you are formula-feeding, your partner can take over for a few hours while you rest.

Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. They can help with household chores, cooking, and taking care of your baby while you get some rest.

Avoid Stimulants

Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can help you get better sleep. These substances can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you need a caffeine boost, try drinking tea or decaf coffee.

Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment

Creating a comfortable sleeping environment can help you sleep better. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. Use sound machines or earplugs to block out noise.


Being a parent is a challenging and rewarding experience. If you are struggling with sleep deprivation, don’t lose hope. By establishing a consistent sleep routine, taking naps, reducing stress, taking turns with your partner, asking for help, avoiding stimulants, and creating a comfortable sleeping environment, you can survive on little sleep. Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your sleep for your well-being and your family’s.

How to Survive on Little Sleep: Tips for Exhausted Parents – FAQ

Q: Why is sleep so important for parents?

A: Sleep is essential for parents to recharge their energy and cope with the demands of parenting. A lack of sleep can lead to physical exhaustion, mood swings and a weaker immune system. It can also hinder decision-making abilities and increase the risk of accidents.

Q: How much sleep do new parents need?

A: New parents require an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, it is difficult for parents of newborns to get uninterrupted sleep because of the infant’s feeding and sleeping schedule.

Q: Is it really possible to survive on little sleep?

A: Yes, it is possible to survive on little sleep, but it can have adverse effects on health and well-being in the long run. Some parents may experience burnout from continuously functioning on little sleep.

Q: What are some tips for surviving on little sleep?

  • Take turns with your partner to wake up during the night.
  • Set a consistent sleep schedule and stick to it as best as possible.
  • Nap during the day when the baby is sleeping.
  • Create a calming sleep environment by reducing noise and light levels.
  • Delegate household tasks to others to reduce stress levels.
  • Ask for help from family and friends when needed.

Q: Is it okay to drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages to stay awake?

A: Drinking caffeinated beverages can help keep you awake, but it is important to limit their intake, especially close to bedtime. Caffeine can also have negative side effects, such as jitteriness and increased heart rate.

Q: What are some signs that you are not getting enough sleep?

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue, even after waking up
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Weakened immune system
  • Memory problems
  • Weight gain

Q: What should parents do if they cannot cope with little sleep?

A: If parents continuously struggle with little sleep, it is essential to seek medical advice. Sleep disorders and other underlying medical issues may be affecting their sleep quality. A healthcare professional can suggest strategies to enhance sleep quality and improve overall health.

Related Products for Sleep-Deprived Parents

  • Baby Monitor:

    A baby monitor is a must-have for parents who struggle to get a good night’s sleep. With a monitor, you can keep an ear out for your baby without physically having to go check on them. Look for monitors that have video and sound capabilities so you can see and hear your baby.

  • Noise Machine:

    A noise machine can be a game-changer for parents who have trouble falling asleep due to outside noise or even their own racing thoughts. Look for machines that replicate soothing sounds like rain or white noise to help you drift off more easily.

  • Baby Swaddle:

    Swaddling your baby can help them feel safe and secure, leading to longer and more restful sleep for both you and your baby. Look for swaddles made with breathable fabric that are easy to use.

  • Breastfeeding Pillow:

    For breastfeeding moms, a breastfeeding pillow can help you get comfortable and support your baby while they eat. Look for pillows that are adjustable and have a removable cover for easy washing.

  • Nursing Bra:

    A good nursing bra should be comfortable, supportive, and allow for easy access when it’s time to breastfeed. Look for bras that are made with breathable fabric and have adjustable straps for a perfect fit.

  • Diaper Bag:

    A well-stocked diaper bag can make leaving the house with a baby much less stressful. Look for bags that are spacious and have designated pockets for all the essentials, like diapers, wipes, and bottles.

  • Breast Pump:

    A breast pump can help breastfeeding moms build up a supply of milk for times when they can’t be with their baby. Look for pumps that are easy to use and have adjustable settings to suit your needs.

  • Rocking Chair or Glider:

    A comfortable rocking chair or glider can make middle-of-the-night feedings or soothing sessions more enjoyable. Look for chairs that are padded and have smooth gliding or rocking motions.

  • Pacifier:

    A pacifier can be a useful tool for soothing a fussy baby and encouraging them to sleep. Look for pacifiers that are made with safe, non-toxic materials and have a shape that mimics the breast to promote healthy oral development.

  • Baby Sleep Sack:

    A sleep sack can be a safer and more comfortable alternative to traditional blankets for keeping your baby warm and cozy while they sleep. Look for sacks made with breathable fabric and that are the right size for your baby.

Pros & Cons of Surviving on Little Sleep for Exhausted Parents


  • Increased Productivity: With less time to work with, parents may find that they become more productive during the short amount of time they do have to work with. This is especially true if they prioritize their tasks and focus on the most important ones first.
  • Learning to Prioritize: When running on little sleep, parents must learn to prioritize which tasks are most important to them. This can lead to a more efficient use of time and increased productivity overall.
  • Appreciation for Sleep: After experiencing the negative effects of little sleep, parents may gain a greater appreciation for the importance of getting enough sleep. This could lead to them making a more conscious effort to prioritize sleep in the future.
  • Increase in Resilience: Surviving on little sleep can help build resilience and the ability to cope with stress. This can be a useful skill in other areas of life as well.
  • Helpful Tips & Advice: Articles like “How to Survive on Little Sleep: Tips for Exhausted Parents” provide helpful advice and tips for how to make the most of the little sleep on offer.


  • Increased Stress: Running on little sleep can increase feelings of stress and anxiousness. This can have a negative impact on both the parent and the child.
  • Reduced Cognitive Functioning: With less sleep, cognitive functioning can be negatively impacted. This can make it more difficult to complete tasks and make good decisions. It can also increase the risk of accidents.
  • Increase in Negative Emotions: Sleep deprivation can increase feelings of negativity such as anger, irritability, and frustration. This can negatively impact relationships with partners, children, and others.
  • Reduced Immune System Functioning: Sleep is important for immune system functioning. Running on little sleep can increase the risk of getting sick or experiencing other illnesses.
  • Overall Negative Impacts: While it is possible to survive on little sleep, there is no denying the negative impact this can have on both the parent and child. It is important for parents to prioritize getting enough sleep to avoid these negative impacts.

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