The Importance of Sleep: Parenting

Remember those peaceful evenings…reading a few pages of your favourite book, rolling over and getting a full 8 hours sleep? If you’re in your third trimester or your little dreamer has arrived, then probably not!

Sleep Science

Sleepless nights and babies go hand in hand, a given, a certainty, a welcome to the ‘club’ of parenting wake up call.  However, the truth is, sleep needs to move up our priority list as Professor Matthew Walker, director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, states there is a “catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic” and “things have to change: in the workplace and our communities, our homes and families.”

In an interview with The Guardian, he warns that sleep deprivation is not being taken seriously enough.  Matthews’s book, Why We Sleep, highlights the importance of sleep science and the significant links between sleepless nights and a range of illnesses, ultimately affecting our life span.

As parents, you’ve never been more tired in your life, but the overwhelming feelings of love and protection towards your children means it doesn’t matter, you’ll deal with it.  Given that newborns can wake every 3-4 hours and with no concept of day or night, it’ll take a while before your little one settles into a routine.  Parents who aren’t getting enough sleep can be physically and emotionally tired, resulting in reduced concentration, exhaustion and irritableness.

Tips

Here are some tips that may help you catch a few more Zzz’s:

Start a sleep diary – document how much sleep you’re getting then try to catch up on missed hours, even a nap of 20 to 30 minutes can re-energise and make you more alert.

Alternate the night shifts – if you can, alternate nights between you and your partner and get everything ready you need within easy reach.

Take the pressure off – it’s okay to say “thank you, but not today”. We know your little dreamer is the most adorable baby you’ve ever seen, (we think so too) and your family and friends are desperate for cuddles and aww’s… but protecting you and your family’s health is important. You’re working around your number one little dreamer and your family is your priority.

The sleepless nights willcome to an end (*insert praying emoji), in the meantime try putting sleep at the top of your list to protect not only your future dreamer but your health and wellbeing too.  At Merifor, we want to put your mind at ease that your most precious gift has the best sleep environment for all stages of their development, so you in turn can rest assured even while you sleep.

Guardian article: Click Here