When you become a mum, lack of sleep reaches a whole other level! That feeling of being tired becomes constant and consistent. You begin to believe that it will never go away! Back in our teenage years all we wanted was to pull an all nighter, but with a new born, it’s a whole new ball game! Not only are you sleeping fewer hours, but the sleep you actually do get, is constantly broken.
When we become sleep deprived we are faced with a number of risks; physical and emotional.
We are told by medical experts that we should get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If we constantly miss out on sleep, we start to accumulate ‘sleep dept’, which cannot always be recovered.
Here are some reasons why Mum’s need enough sleep:
- If you are breastfeeding, adequate sleep is important. If you are sleep deprived, it can actually affect your milk supply. Getting enough sleep can lower risk or chance of low milk supplies. After giving birth, a mum has a lot on her mind, and having to be concerned about whether her breastmilk supply can be avoided. Not only can lack of sleep cause lack of milk. But the can occur from lack of milk, can lead to a vicious cycle. A stressed and tired mom can cause low milk supply, which can make a baby hungry and upset. This then makes a mum stressed and feel like she has failed. This can lead to more stress and anxiety. By getting enough sleep will benefit both mum and baby!
- Although it shouldn’t be a main focus after giving birth, all mums think about how they can get their pre baby weight back. Although weight loss shouldn’t be a main focus straight away, it is important to note that lack of sleep is linked with an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese. Adequate sleep will help a new mum increase her metabolism to function better. After giving birth, mom woman do not like their bodies. Having inadequate sleep can lead to more negative feelings. Inadequate sleep increases ghrelin in our bodies. This hunger hormone increases our appetite, which also leads to increased cravings or carbohydrate and sugary foods. This can lead to another a vicious cycle.
- Getting adequate sleep can lower risk of health problems. As mentioned, sleep deprivation can affect breast milk supply, it can cause stress and it can lead to weight gain. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to a number of other health issues:
- heart attack and stroke
- high blood pressure
- mood changes
A health risk we may not be aware of is the effect lack of sleep has on our immune system. When we sleep, our body is in rest mode. It affects our time for recovery. During sleep, our immune system strengthens as we produces protective, infection-fighting substances. Cytokines are one example. It’s these substances that help fight infection diseases, bacteria and viruses. Sleep deprivation therefore prevents our immune system to strengthen. A lack of can lead to longer recovery periods.