The National Sleep Foundation is raising public awareness and promoting the many health benefits of getting the proper amount of rest as we approach the upcoming Daylight Savings Time. This is the weekend our bodies are forced to adjust to one less hour of sleep, an hour that perhaps we can’t really spare. There are several health problems linked to lack of sleep, like obesity or even depression. And who hasn’t experienced a reduction in productivity, memory or comprehension due to late nights, feedings, laundry … need I go on? Clearly we could all benefit from a little more shut-eye, so read on, friends.
Sleep seems to be a more highly sought after luxury as we age, and particularly aware of this phenomenon are new or expecting parents. If you are an expecting mama, you’ve probably noticed an increased desire for sleep or rest, especially as you move further along in your pregnancy. You may have also noticed new or recurring obstacles to enjoying a good night’s sleep. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Constant bathroom breaks during the day can be inconvenient, but at night they seem downright rude. Cut back on the liquids as bedtime nears for one less interruption.
- Sleep with a pregnancy pillow or use your regular pillows to help provide the support you need through the night.
- Take naps. These short treats will only add to your total sleep count.
- Enjoying a warm bath or shower before bed can also help to relax your body and prepare for bedtime.
- Don’t forget to sleep as much as you can now, because after baby is born it won’t be mere discomfort keeping you up nights.
All you new mamas (and daddies)—although you’ve cleared the pregnancy sleep hurdles, you’ve just joined the ranks of parenthood, which present a host of new obstacles. Although your baby needs a solid twelve to eighteen hours (fourteen to fifteen for infants), we all know those are rarely consecutive. Here are a couple tips to help you realize your own sleep needs while caring for baby:
- Mothers who nurse routinely or are frequently awakened by baby during the night should try to catch a few Zs whenever baby does.
- Don’t forget you’re a team. Share the night watch so that one person is not forced to repeatedly face the consequences of another sleepless night.
Although each person’s individual sleep needs differ it is recommended that adults get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This can sometimes be difficult when life gets busy. So try to make sleep more of a priority in your life if you feel you’re not getting enough.
For more information on how much sleep we really need, visit the National Sleep Foundation website.