Moms and Sleep Deprivation
Mothers and Sleep Loss: It’s Not Just for Babies continued...
Children waking up at night aren't the only reason for all of those
sleep-deprived mothers shuffling through life. Part of the problem is that
mothers put their kids to bed and then stay up much later than they should.
It's understandable, Mindell says. "A lot of moms see the night as their own
quiet time to relax or as a chance to get things done that they couldn't during
the day," she tells WebMD. So instead of going to bed earlier to compensate for
the sleep they're losing in the night, mothers might stay up later -- further
eroding the time they sleep.
Sleep-Deprived Mothers: The Health Effects
Of course, many sleep-deprived mothers just pooh-pooh the recommendations
about getting more rest. Sure, it would be swell if they could sleep eight
hours a night, but it just seems absurdly unrealistic.
It doesn't help that as a culture, we tend to look down on sleep. Getting
too much -- or even just enough -- implies softness. Some sleep-deprived
mothers take pride in doing too much and sleeping too little, trading war
stories of sleepless nights with other moms at the park.
But sleep experts are trying to get people to change their attitude about
sleep. "We really need to look at sleep as something that's just as important
to good health as diet and exercise," Ronald Kramer, MD, a spokesperson for the
American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a specialist at the Colorado Sleep
Disorders Center in Englewood, Colo.
Roth agrees. "We have good data linking insufficient sleep with all sorts of
problems," Roth tells WebMD. "It's connected to poor performance at work,
obesity, diabetes, excessive risk-taking behavior, and heart disease."
Honestly, if you pick a disease or health problem at random from a medical
text, it's probably worsened by or linked to sleep loss.
The Impact of Sleep Loss on Mothers
If looking after your own health isn't enough to get you to change your
habits, remember that you're not the only one affected. If you're constantly
tired, your whole family will feel it.