Why New Moms Need Sleep
We all need sleep and not just any old sleep; our bodies require good quality sleep to function efficiently throughout the following day. Some people need this type of sleep more than others, and new moms fall within that category. But what exactly is good sleep?
What Is Good Sleep?
Good quality sleep includes getting a specific amount of sleep customized for you. According to Quartz, neuroscientists, sleep experts, and psychologists have asserted that we do not all need the same amount of sleep, and so the required number of hours of sleep will vary from mom to mom. These professionals stated that while many adults need seven (7) to nine (9) hours of sleep, five (5) and six (6) hours are sufficient for some. Psychologist Stephanie Centofanti also pointed out that although rare, a few people find ten (10) hours suitable for themselves.
At this point, you are wondering what your ideal amount is. Don't worry; a sleep therapy specialist can help you identify it, as there are numerous strategies used for determining the right individualized amount of sleep necessary for each person. Whatever amount of sleep you require, 85 percent of that total sleep time should take place in your bed. Additionally, the National Sleep Foundation has pointed out a few prime indicators of good sleep. They are: falling asleep in thirty (30) minutes or less, waking up only once each night, and for that instance, you should not be involuntarily awake for more than twenty (20) minutes.
Did you know that we experience a series of sleep stages, moving from light sleep into deep sleep each time we fall asleep? Well, we do, and it is during the deep phase that we get genuinely high-quality sleep. If you wake up multiple times each night, you more than likely feel tired in the morning. The reason for this is that each time you awaken, the sleep stages restart, so for the entire night, you may get only light sleep, which is highly inadequate for proper holistic functioning.
Why Good Sleep Is Essential
There are many reasons why getting the ideal type and amount of sleep is required. So let's explore a few of them. As new mothers, we know it takes a lot of physical energy and mental capacity to care for your baby. Firstly, getting insufficient and low-quality sleep tends to diminish your strength and cognitive abilities. Interestingly, a sleep-deprived individual can have the same poor cognition as an intoxicated person, affecting their balance and gait, which may be dangerous to both your baby and yourself by causing falls and other accidents.
Secondly, top-quality sleep also helps prevent postpartum conditions since it aids with improving immune system function, speeding healing and recovery, and maintaining mental stability. A lack of sleep dangerously causes a metabolic protein waste product named Beta-amyloid to accumulate within the brain. Over time, this gummy substance interrupts the regular communication that takes place between brain cells, ultimately causing irreparable damage to them.
Lastly, the American Psychology Association shared a study that shows 21 percent of adults reported feeling more stressed when they did not get enough sleep. If you get overly tired, you may feel stressed. When this occurs, typically, the feeling is transferred to the baby, causing him or her to become consistently fussy, and we definitely do not want that.
Seven Tips On Getting Good Sleep
Several efficient methods exist that help with developing and improving good habits for adequate sleep. Here are seven (7) tips to consider if you aren't getting enough sleep.
Sleep when your baby sleeps; this not only increases nightly rest; it also provides bonding time.
Get help from a night-time nanny or your partner to care for your baby; so you can have a restful night.
Create an environment conducive to sleep. A dark, cool, and quiet room is ideal.
Avoid consuming caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime.
No electronics in bed. Computers, TVs, cell phones, etc., should be avoided at least an hour before bedtime.
Try proven sleep therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Practice guided meditation, which is another naturally beneficial sleep aid.
When you get enough hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, you will wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to have an excellent day. Do not be afraid to seek help and advice from professionals. We encourage you to get the best quality sleep possible and maintain a consistent sleep schedule; remember, your baby needs you in your best physical health and frame of mind.
American Sleep Foundation. ( 2020). Stress and Insomnia | Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/stress-and-insomnia
American Sleep Foundation. ( 2020). What is Healthy Sleep? | Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/what-is-healthy-sleep
American Sleep Foundation. (2020). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia (CBT-I) | Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/treatment/cognitive-behavioral-therapy-insomnia
American Sleep Foundation. (2020). What is Good Quality Sleep? | Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/what-good-quality-sleep
Cinelli, E. (2021). Family Education. The Importance of Sleep for New Moms. https://www.familyeducation.com/our-predictions-for-the-top-baby-names-and-trends-of-2021
Dallas Sleep. (2017). The Importance Of Sleep As A New Parent. Dallas sleep. https://dallas-sleep.com/dallas-sleep-blog/importance-sleep-new-parent/
Hansen, A. (2018, November 27). How much sleep do I need? The eight-hour rule is a myth. Quartz; Quartz. https://qz.com/quartzy/1476218/how-much-sleep-do-i-need-the-eight-hour-rule-is-a myth/#:~:text=We%20often%20hear%20eight%20hours,be%20appropriate%20for%20other%20people.
Sampson, s., (2020). 11 Effects Of Sleep Deprivation On Your Body. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body#Digestive-system