New mothers are getting as little as three hours sleep a night, new survey finds.

New mothers are getting as little as three hours sleep a night, according to a new Galaxy survey.

It sounds like a bad nights’ sleep is bearable, once or twice, but it is the relentlessness of sleep deprivation as a new mum that gets me.

The survey found the greatest challenge of early parenthood is lack of sleep.  It doesn’t surprise me.

Despite my years of shift working and staying alert for overnight shifts in a newsroom, nothing prepared me for the kind of sleep deprivation at the hands a new crying baby.

Registered nurse and baby sleep consultant, Jo Ryan told The Courier Mail sleep deprivation is like a form of torture as it delays reaction times, makes tempers short and is like driving after having a few drinks.

Image via iStock.

My mother and my partner fixed my sleep torture with an intervention, which involved them taking turns to bottle feed the baby so I could get more sleep.

The team behind the survey suggest the best way to improve sleep habits with babies is to establish a bedtime routine.

Ryan teamed up with Baby Product company Johnson's to make an app with a three-step routine to help parents get their children to sleep.

The routine involves a bath, massage and quiet time to help the baby get to sleep and the makers claim if it is followed for seven days, mothers could get an extra hour of sleep.

Sounds simple enough and I'd give it go but I doubt there is a simple answer to getting more sleep with a newborn.

We travelled a lot with my baby son and every time something changed in his routine he would take a long time to get to sleep, then there was the staying asleep bit.

I have been doing the same bedtime routine since my son was a few months old but he is still not sleeping through the night.

I have read and binned sleep training books while my friends have suggested I go to sleep school.

There are nights when I have had to sit with my baby for hours battling him to get to sleep and other nights when I have got him to sleep in minutes - after doing the same routine.

I even started to read my baby the same book every night until it drove me a bit crazy.

Despite all this advice and attempts to change my situation, I have operated on little sleep for what feels like a long time.

how to relieve stress for mums
Image via iStock.

All mothers find lack of sleep challenging, if there is was an app or trick to help me and my baby get more sleep I would try it.

Nothing worked for me though. The only thing I found helpful was talking to other mothers. We all had the same gruelling schedule (apart from the one mum who has a dream sleeper from six months). We all understood when we one of us said "I'm tired".

Now, I am starting to see a change - my nights have become a lot easier lately. My baby doesn't sleep through yet but I am getting more than three hours in a row so I feel lucky.