Sleep deprivation can make you feel especially forgetful, unmotivated, spaced out, and fatigued, as everybody who has ever sacrificed a few hours of sleep knows. Chronic sleep deprivation, which is common when you're a sleep-deprived new parent, can have serious consequences for your physical and mental health.
Effects on physical health.
Physically, we all react to sleep deprivation in various ways, and a few months or weeks of sleep deprivation won't put us at risk for long-term health problems. However, it's crucial to be aware that sleep deprivation can have significant health and wellness repercussions.
Sleep deprivation can decrease your immune system and make you more vulnerable to sickness.
Sleep deprivation can alter your metabolism and appetite cues, causing you to gain weight.
Sleep deprivation might disrupt your hormonal balance and reduce your desire to have sex.
Sleep deprivation over an extended period of time raises your risk of acquiring diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Effects on Mental health
Sleep deprivation is expected to make you irritable and sad. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, has been linked to the onset or worsening of mental health conditions, including sadness and anxiety. The baby blues usually start 2 to 3 days after delivery and can linger for up to two weeks. Anxiety, distress, and fear may steer a new mommy to postpartum depression. Lack of sleep too can cause her to suffer from depression and mood swings.
When you're sleep-deprived, it's difficult to care for your newborn, let alone other members of your family. It's also a risky proposition. According to the Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving causes an estimated 100,000 crashes each year, such as driving your newborn to the pediatrician after little or no sleep. Sleep deprivation can also enhance a new mom's risk of postpartum depression.
We have enlisted 8 ways to make your early motherhood easier and avoid sleeplessness.
1. Discuss your sleep requirements
This is the discussion that needs to be done before your baby comes home. Discuss your ability to endure sleep loss with your partner when you get pregnant. You might want to start saving now so you can hire a night nurse or a babysitter. A night nurse will take care of the baby by feeding and putting them to sleep. This way you can take continuous and longer naps at night.
2. Hospital's nursery
Hospital nurseries are there for a reason, so don't feel bad about using them. Delivering a baby, whether naturally or with surgery, is stressful. The first two days after birth are essential. This is the time for you to recover from giving delivery. Leave your kid with a skilled expert for the night or two while you are in the hospital. Take enough rest and monitor your health. You will be able to take care of your baby only if you are healthy.
3. No more responsibility
If you feel terrible about spending less time with your older child, don't. Instead, consider volunteering them to accompany their class on a field trip or taking them on a special museum outing. "Do not take on any more obligations when you have a newborn," says one expert. Enroll your older kids for extra tuition or hire a babysitter to take care of them.
4. Match your sleeping hours with the baby
Any professional baby nurse will tell you that sleeping when your baby is napping is the key to avoiding postpartum sleep loss. Put everything aside and take a snooze with your baby. Everything except the baby can wait.
When your infant is sleeping, it's tempting to try to do chores, wash dishes, do laundry, and clean the floors. Accept that your house is filthy and unkempt, and go to bed because once the baby is awake, you must be awake as well.
Do not use this time to make phone calls or watch episodes of shows you've been recording.
It doesn't matter if you have piles of laundry all over the home; if you can't take your child to the pediatrician, you have a problem.
Take any support you can receive. At the start, you may feel uncomfortable but accept aid from a family member, friend, or babysitter so that you can get a few hours of sleep. Some people consider sleep to be a luxury, but it is a medical necessity. Find out what are the ideal hours of sleep.
Avoid television, radio, and looking at your clock when you get to snooze so you don't focus on how much time you have left. Dozing off is best done in a cool, darkroom. Keep your lights off and curtains shut, so that you sleep peacefully. Even if it is for 2 hours, have a peaceful rest.
6.Can't hear your baby cry? Don't worry
A baby is a natural alarm clock, and mothers tend to be alert to their baby's wailing. If you're worried about not hearing your kid or if the nursery is a long way from your bedroom, invest in a monitor and keep it close by. Remember that your kid is safeguarded, and they will be fine if they whine for a few seconds before you hear them.
7. Hire help or delegate
Ask your partner to help with some of the feedings if your baby takes a bottle. Consider pumping and giving somebody else a turn to feed, if you are nursing. As much as possible, split your domestic duties. Hire help to do routine chores like laundry and cleaning.
8. Maintain your focus on the prize.
Your baby will sleep longer one day — maybe tomorrow, maybe when he or she is a few months older. And you will as well. Some babies are more likely to sleep through the night than others. Talk to your pediatrician if your baby is crying all night because there could be a medical explanation, such as acidity or too much gas, that can be treated.