Motherhood and Sleep Deprivation
Sleep plays a decidedly critical role in analyzing, problem-solving and learning. That’s why sleep deprivation impairs our concentration, reasoning ability, etc. Sleep deprivation potentially increases a new mother’s risk of depression and postpartum mood problems. Sleep deprivation can be physically and emotionally draining, which is much like doing the “night shift.”
Studies prove that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep potentially lead to accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S. among people under 25 years old. Drowsy driving is responsible for an estimated 100,000 crashes each year, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Babies may wake up at midnight due to illness or nightmares. New parents are compelled to attend babies needs. For those who only sleep a couple of hours a night, they build up “sleep debt,” which is harmful for their health condition, physically and mentally. Sleep loss highly affects people’s sex life, work productivity and memory for sure. Studies found that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos.
Both sleep deprivation and night shifts proved to be highly associated with high blood sugar levels, lower immunity, slow wound healing, brain fog, mood swings, emotional weakness, anxiety disorder, lower productivity, diabetes and other chronic illness.
According to Dr. William C. Dement, a physician and sleep specialist, parents of newborns often lose about two hours of sleep per night until the baby is 5 months old. Also, parents usually lose an hour of sleep each night until their child around 2 years old. New research suggests that new parents averagely suffer from sleep deprivation for six years. Unsurprisingly, fathers only lost 13 minutes of sleep after the first child’s birth for the first three months.
For new parents, they don’t have to live up to the unrealistic ideal of the “perfect parent.” We can’t meet the baby’s every need for sure. As to parenthood, it’s about building connections and find comfort with baby’s company.
You can’t take good care of babies unless you take good care of yourself first. You can’t keep a healthy balanced relationship unless you are mentally and physically comfortable. Don’t abuse your body and don’t suppress your needs. Fulfil your desire and needs if they are reasonable. Go for it.
Forgive yourself for not being a perfect wife or perfect mother. You have to be a happy mother first to keep a happy family. Happiness is absolutely the most important element to keep a happy family. It’s worth noting that you can barely happy if you persistently suffer from sleep deprivation. And it has nothing to do with your EQ.
# 1: Seek a childcare centre or hospital nursery and do not feel guilty for it. Accept your boundaries, vulnerabilities and limitations. Be self-aware and listen to body’s physical cues, such as chronic fatigue, forgetfulness and irritability, which are the signals to reminds you to take a full rest or early sleep.
# 2: Utilize light exposure to control the baby’s sleep schedule, which will help coordinate the baby’s biological clock.
#3: You deserve the time to energize yourself, either by shopping, going to a music concert, visiting a bookstore or anything you love. There is no prize for being a full-time mother. New mothers do have the rights for vocations. Being a stay-at-home mother means that she has to on duty for 24 hours 365 days. No payment, no day off, no overtime pay. People take everything granted for what a mom sacrifices for a family.
#4: It’s good to know that new parents’ sleep deprivation eases once their child begins sleeping through the night.
# 5: Many new moms stay alert during the day because they have to breastfeed their baby very hour or every two hours. That’s why new moms suffer from frequent sleep interruptions. One benefit of bottle-feeding is that someone shares the burden of sleep loss.
Margaret W. Lavigne
Wise Library 1985
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