Sleep is just as important as exercise and nutrition. Quality of sleep affects a person’s mental sharpness, emotional balance, productivity, creativity and vitality. Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation in parents is a very common occurrence. It usually happens if there is a newborn or toddler in the house and parents have to meet the demands of their children. Sometimes, cutting back on sleep can seem like the only answer.
Most parents cope up with too little sleep without difficulty, however when lack of sleep starts stretching on for days to weeks and months, it can definitely push a parent to his or her limits. A sleep deprived parent may not be able to function well as he tends to become very irritable, sleepy, frustrated, angry and overwhelmed. Here are some ways parents can overcome sleep deprivation:
When Possible, Take Daily Naps.
Some babies can cry for hours, but they will soon stop and doze off. If they do, parents should take an opportunity to catch some sleep too by taking a nap. Power naps of less than 30 minutes or even those as short as 6 and 10 minutes can help restore wakefulness and promote productivity and performance. Learning to nap at the same time as your child can be very helpful especially for tired and weary mothers.
If you want a peaceful night with your child, learn how to organize your night feeds ahead of time. When breastfeeding, make sure that the bassinet is right beside your bed. The easiest way to nurse is while lying down. Some mothers prefer sharing the bed with their child because it is more convenient and practical. Also, anticipate the things you might need in the middle of the night like clean diaper, baby wipes, a glass of water and trash bin. Make the room comfortable to move around in especially at night by setting up a small lamp with a low-voltage bulb near the bedside table.
It is very helpful if partners can take shifts taking care of their baby. If exhaustion threatens, get help! If your partner is not available, ask your mother or hire someone to help you take care of your child. Teach your partner or your nanny how you want to get things done.
Lack of sleep is one of the biggest problems faced by new parents. Sleep deprivation can be caused by fatigue and it is best managed through prevention. Sometimes, it takes just two or three nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep to manage the symptoms of sleep deprivation. If exhaustion continues despite the above measures, talk with your trusted health care expert for treatment of possible anemia, potassium deficiency or thyroid malfunction. All of these medical problems can bring about symptoms of fatigue that can also contribute to sleeplessness.