Sleep Deprivation in Mothers and What You Can Do About It

Not getting enough sleep is all too common of a reality, especially for mothers. While sleep deprivation might seem like a normal part of motherhood, it doesn’t erase the fact that getting little to no sleep has many ill-effects.

There are many studies trying to determine the best number of hours an individual should spend sleeping. However, according to the NHS, if you wake up feeling exhausted and longing to have a nap all day long, it means that your body is not getting the right amount of sleep that it needs.

Although you are generally limp and immobile when you sleep, your cells are quite busy. In fact, it is during sleep that your body releases growth hormones and cytokines, which are essential in immunity. Your brain also processes all the information it acquired during the day when you sleep, improving your memory and thinking ability.

Most of the time, the quality of sleep, not the quantity, matters. Here are some tips you can follow to help you achieve quality sleep:

  • Sleeping environment. This plays a crucial role in ensuring a quality sleep. Keep your bedroom a place for relaxation alone. Remove any form of distraction, especially gadgets that emit blue light such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. Keep the lights dim and the temperature cool and comfortable.

  • Meditate. A mom’s brain works nonstop. With a lot of things on your to-do lists left unchecked, you have a tendency to run them over in your head and obsess over them until they’re done. This can greatly affect the quality of your sleep. Remember to relax and remind yourself that you can only do so much. Don’t push yourself too hard. Meditation aligns your perspective, clears your mind, and helps you tune out the things that are less important.

  • Ensure comfort. After hustling around the entire day, you may feel sore and achy all over. Moms commonly suffer from body ailments including back pain, heel pain, and wrist pain caused by juggling many responsibilities daily. Body pains can keep you up at night and may disrupt the quality of your sleep so it is best to manage them earlier.

    • Find out the cause. In the management of any form of injury, it is essential to determine the cause. Find out what’s causing your back pain, heel pain, and wrist pain and stay away from these activities for the meantime.

    • To address back pain, consider wearing a back brace that provides additional back support. In addition, stretch your back and exercise regularly to relieve muscle tension.

    • To manage heel pain, wear footwear with adequate cushion and padding. You can also apply an ice pack to your sore heel to numb the pain and decrease the swelling. Refrain from holding your child in your arms for more than 15 minutes as the added weight can further aggravate your heel pain.

    • To deal with wrist pain, it is important to remember that overuse is the major cause of this ailment. Therefore, it is essential to rest the affected wrist, avoid doing repetitive movements and keep the injured area in a neutral position. You can also wear a wrist guard for sleeping to keep the pain at bay and prevent your wrist from bending when you sleep.

  • Massage. Get a relaxing massage to loosen tight knots and release stress in your body. A massage does not only offer physiologic benefits. It also boosts your immunity and improves your mood because it stimulates the release of endorphins, your feel-good hormones.

If your motherhood duties are already getting in the way of your health, you can consider enlisting the help of a caregiver or a kind relative to help you with some of your responsibilities. Although you may want to be as hands-on as you can, keep in mind that more will be at stake if your health is compromised.


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