Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a lot of difficulty with sleeping at the best of times. Throw in the demands of a small child, and things get even worse. However, I know I’m not alone. Many women – and men – suffer the effects of sleep deprivation when they have kids. Some may not even realise it – which is why I thought I would create this post. If you are feeling a little out of it on a daily basis, it might be because you need more sleep. And, the impact it can have on your health is a lot more severe than you might think. Here are a few signs that you should watch out for.
Lack of motivation
A bad night’s sleep can lead to apathy and fatigue. But, once it starts adding up, it can result in complete demotivation. You can end up feeling like you don’t want to do anything at all, and it’s tough to snap out of it. Get more sleep, however, and you should find yourself starting to become a lot more productive.
You can always tell when I haven’t slept properly for a few days because I become something of a monster. Moodiness and irritability are par for the course, I’m afraid. It’s frayed nerves, primarily, and I find it hard to stop snapping at people. Bad moods can also start increasing your stress levels, as everything seems to make you angry. If you are normally a bright and happy individual but have noticed your moods are a lot darker, try getting more sleep.
Waking up each day with an aching back or neck? If so, it’s a sure sign you haven’t been sleeping properly. And, it leads to a vicious circle – your aches wake you up at night, and your sleep gets disturbed even more. After reading some Tempur bed and mattress information, I decided to take the plunge with a new mattress. (Not a Tempur but the principles are the same!). It is far more comfortable, and I haven’t had any aches for months now.
Most people are a lot less productive in the afternoon. But, if you feel like you want to catch some shuteye, it’s a sure sign you have mild sleep deprivation. Try and hold out until the evening, and go to bed a little earlier. It’s all to do with your body clock, and if you are sleeping all over the place, you will be sending your body a lot of mixed messages.
Suffering from a lot of colds and illnesses recently? Lack of sleep can have an adverse impact on your immune system, so it’s often worth thinking about your sleeping patterns. Infections and the flu can also hit you a lot harder if you aren’t sleeping properly. I would advise seeing your doctor first, of course, to rule out anything more sinister. But, in many cases, better quality sleep can improve your immune system by a significant amount.
It’s so sad that when we want to remember so much of our children’s early years, but can’t! There is an element of ‘baby brain‘ that we all experience as mothers in the early days. Lack of sleep is to blame for the vast majority of cases. So, if you are burning the candle at both ends, maybe have another think about it. If you want to keep those precious memories in your head, sleeping better is the only option! It’s great that we have all these photograph-taking devices these days to remind us. But, it’s far nicer to have those memories etched in your mind.
Lack of sleep can also affect your metabolism. And, this means that your body won’t be able to digest food and burn calories at a rate that is normal. You can put on a lot of weight – or fail to lose the extra pounds you have from having your baby. Even if you are working out a lot, sleep deprivation can hamper your progress. When you sleep, your body repairs itself, and you build muscle. The longer you sleep, the more muscle you will have, and the more weight you can lose. Even building muscle in itself can help burn off fat, so think about sleeping better whether you are working out or not.
OK, so that’s all I have time for today. I hope this has helped some of you out there who may suffer from these symptoms but aren’t sure why. Let me know if you have any sleep problems yourself and let’s get a conversation going!