You have a baby. Maybe you have other kids too. You’re tired. That’s normal.
You run around all day juggling taking care of these small humans, taking care of yourself, taking care of your household duties, and probably working as well. Driving from point a to point b, figuring out meals, doing chores...it honestly seems never ending. Of course your exhausted.
While some level of tiredness is normal for a short period of time while your body recovers, prolonged exhaustion is not. When sleep deprivation takes place, there are some surprising (and negative) effects that are seen. We know that the majority of parents who have small children sleep less than the recommended 7-9 hours a night they need. We also know that chronic sleep deprivation affects almost every aspect of your life.
Mood swings have been accepted as the “norm” among new parents but studies show something potentially darker below the surface of jokes. Mothers who experience sleep deprivation are at a higher risk for Postpartum Depression and other Postpartum Mood Disorders. While the “baby blues” has long been held as something most newly postpartum individuals go through, sometimes it does deeper than that. With new parents experiencing the lowest amount of sleep vs their childless peers, they’re at risk for a whole host of mood disorders (fathers too!).
Prolonged sleep deprivation has also been linked to Anxiety and Depression and even alters the way your brain works. The need for sleep is just no joke.
Along with mood disorders, we often see cognitive impairment in sleep deprived individuals. The most dangerous part? Most of them don’t even recognize they’re impaired. The effects of sleep deprivation mimic the effects of being under the influence of alcohol. One study showed them to be similar to someone who had .10% blood alcohol content (the legal limit is .08%), however they rated their exhaustion as “mild”. It’s also been estimated that between 15-33% of fatal car crashes are related to driver fatigue.
The bottom line is, parents need sleep. There are not ifs, ands, or buts about it. As sleep experts, we often see Charlotte parents try to struggle through the early months of parenthood. When we finally arrive, they’re exhausted and looking for a solution. We want you to know that going through parenthood chronically exhausted is not normal, nor is it necessary.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get help and start sleeping now. Our Certified Sleep Coaches are here for you and would love to help you through this. Connect with us today!