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  • Your Baby Needs You to Sleep! 4 Ways to Prioritize Your Sleep Every Day

    You need sufficient sleep to be productive!
    by Kate Borbon .
Your Baby Needs You to Sleep! 4 Ways to Prioritize Your Sleep Every Day
PHOTO BY iStock
  • It’s a well-known fact that moms don’t get to sleep as much as they want to, especially during their first year. But experts say as hard as it may be, moms need to get quality sleep at night because it can affect not only their mood but even their productivity and physical health.

    Not sleeping doesn’t give you extra hours in a day

    Terry Cralle, a registered nurse, certified sleep expert, and spokesperson for the Better Sleep Council, tells Motherly that many moms choose to stay up late because they think that by doing so, they will have more time for other chores or even me-time. Unfortunately, this will only make you less productive.

    “You’ll do better if you get the recommended amount of sleep every night, not just on the weekends. If you consistently get sufficient amount of sleep you’re going to do more in fewer hours, you’re going to be more productive, and you’re going to be happier, you’re going to be healthier, and a whole lot of other things that are really life-changing,” she said.

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    Lack of sleep has an impact on your cognitive function

    According to a study by researchers from the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University in Ontario, Canada, not getting enough sleep regularly is linked to a decline in mental acuity. Moreover, poor sleep for even one night can cause declines in reasoning, problem-solving, and verbal abilities.

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    Lack of sleep can hurt your health

    Being sleep-deprived can also impact your physical health and mental well-being. Robyn Stremler, a registered nurse and associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing who studies sleep and parenting, tells Today’s Parent that individuals who don’t get sufficient sleep regularly tend to have higher blood pressure. She also says that not enough sleep can cause you to make poor food choices and go for items with higher fat and sugar content.

    Motherly also writes, “Chronic insufficient sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Lack of sleep is also linked to mood disorders and depression.”

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    Stremler tells Today’s Parent, “Low mood can occur with even just one night of too little sleep, but for those who experience chronic deprivation, we see this issue compound over time. We also know there is a relationship between chronic lack of sleep and the development of diagnosable mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety.”

    How to prioritize sleep every day

    Moms always want to make sure their children get the amount of sleep they need every day so they grow healthy and strong, but adequate sleep is just as important for mothers! Try these four tips to make sure you get the rest you need—and deserve.

    1. Stick to a sleep schedule.

    Setting a specific time when you are going to sleep is one way to start prioritizing sleep. Just like how you set a bedtime for your little ones, set a bedtime for yourself too, and make sure to stick to it, even if it might mean having to put off certain tasks for tomorrow.

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    2. Take naps throughout the day.

    “Sleep when your baby sleeps” is a good approach to follow, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Put the dishes and the laundry away for a minute and lie down for 20 to 30 minutes. When you wake up, you’ll feel much healthier and happier!

    3. Put your phone down.

    Prioritizing sleep means avoiding things that can make it much more difficult for you to fall asleep, including using your phone or your computer and watching TV. For those who work from home, Parents recommends keeping your computer and other home-office equipment out of your bedroom so you don’t associate that space with work and so that it’s easier for you to get some shut-eye.

    4. Ask your partner for help.

    If the reason why you aren’t getting enough sleep is the number of responsibilities you have as a parent, don’t be afraid to ask someone to switch shifts with you, whether it’s your partner or another relative. It shouldn’t just be you getting up every 30 minutes to nurse your baby or calm him back to sleep.

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    To learn more about your child's sleep during his first years of life, click here.

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