Sleep deprivation is an accepted part of motherhood. Mom Junction detailed its symptoms and effects – from internal detriments such as compromised immune system to external dangers like being prone to accidents. The worst thing is that it may have repercussions on your beloved family.
A post from Her View from Home tackled six different phases of a sleep deprived mom. It starts from a sense of euphoria to despair to acceptance. What’s worrying is that stages 2 to 5 are all dreadful. Although you can try to doze off as often as you can, Sleep Junkies argues that getting sleep is simply not enough to avoid the negative effects. Amount and quality are equally important. They compare “healthy sleep” to what they refer to as “junk sleep,” and the latter is not as restorative as the former. In fact, junk sleep may even magnify the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation.
If you’re chronically lacking in either amount or quality of sleep (or both), the usual result is insomnia. This is even more dangerous according to Michigan Health, because it’s a catalyst for postpartum depression (PPD). This condition has the potential to cause long-term effects. Medical News Today revealed that as high as 30 percent of women who developed the disorder were still affected 3 years later.
PPD has all sorts of perilous consequences – from physical harm to mental damage. These are on top of its impact on your relationships, especially with your baby. It’s not uncommon for a child to feel less affection from his or her mother who has PPD. And if this happens during his or her formative years, it may affect your child’s growth later on.
It was also found that depression in general amplifies the detrimental effects of other health concerns. For instance, a depressed individual who suffers a heart attack is two times more likely to kick the bucket. A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, and this is a time when she becomes vulnerable to a lot of health concerns. Needless to say, such circumstances must not be followed by PPD at all costs.
With all that in mind, Working Mother gives suggestions on how to improve your sleep quality. One of their main advice is to take control of your sleeping environment. This entails keeping your room at a comfortable temperature and using a good mattress. It’s recommended to adjust your room temperature to 68 degrees F (or 20 degrees C). For the latter, the important thing is that your mattress should not be older than 10 years. It’s worth considering to use a memory foam mattress as well.
In addition, you can take advantage of today’s technology. Health IQ recommended apps like the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock to help you monitor the amount of sleep you’re getting. You can also use an app to assess your level of health knowledge. Staying on top of your sleeping habits and overall health status is crucial, because the information will aid in getting to the root of the problem. In most cases, your inability to sleep extends beyond your duties as a mom. When you’ve got the chance to rest, but you still had difficulty in dozing off, it’s time to visit a medical professional.
Sleep deprivation is unfortunately what many moms have become accustomed to. Still, it’s important to stay educated on the risks caused by lack of sleep, because at the end of the day, it’s not just about you. Your sleep is as important for your child as it is for you.
***This is a guest post because I am one sleepy mom.
AUTHOR BIO: Ruby Ingram is a speech-language pathologist and mother of three. She’s also a writer as well as a public speaker and often joins gatherings of their community’s parents’ association. She does freelance writing from time to time.