Sleep and parenting? Do you even get any? Well, you don’t! Ha just kidding. Kind of. You do and you don’t.
Everything in parenting is such a phase. I am almost 5 years in and that is my biggest takeaway. There are some phases where everyone sleeps through the night and they even sleep in until 7:30 AM (best day ever!). Then there are the other phases (the one I am in right now) where everyone wakes you up in the middle of the night, they stall bedtime for as long as they can, they wake up as soon as the sun starts to rise (or even before lets be honest) and you start to wonder if you will ever get sleep again.
Which gets me to what I want to talk about today: the importance of sleep. Especially if you are a parent.
We all should know that our children need sleep. It is VITAL to their developing brains, bodies, wellbeing, moods, and overall health. If you can find a sleeping learning method – I didn’t use the word training for a reason since it has such a bad rap – that is gentle and you and your partner can agree on, I highly recommend it. It really does set them up for success in all areas of their life. I used the Taking Cara Babies method at 5 months, and wow it was well worth every penny.
I also invested in a night nurse when my second baby was born because I learned from the first time around, that my sleep deprivation contributed to my Postpartum Depression. I knew when I got pregnant the second time around, that if there was anything to budget for, it was for a night nurse.
I didn’t want to be anxious or depressed again, and I wanted to enjoy my baby as much as I could. I also wanted to be there for my son, because a new baby in the house was a huge transition for him too.
Hands down, best postpartum decision I have made. I wasn’t only investing in my baby, but I was investing in myself and my sanity. Now, anytime a new mom asks me what’s my best piece of advice, I always say “invest in a night nurse!”
Oh and another piece of advice that I say is “sleep begets sleep.” I learned that my first time around, and it is still true to this day. The more a baby and/or child is well rested, the more they will sleep. Keeping them up will not make them sleep more.
Why do we, the parents, need sleep? I don’t know about you but when I don’t sleep, I really do not function well. My brain is foggy, my mood starts to decline, and I tend to get “sloppy” for lack of a better word. I am less on task, easily distracted, unmotivated, and irritable quickly. Physically, I will get lethargic and less likely to be able to keep up with my highly energetic children. To me, it is a recipe for disaster. Especially if I want to be present with my children, my partner, my work, friends and colleagues.
Scientifically here a couple of consequences that happen with sleep deprivation as parents:
- Anxiety and depression
- Accidents and injuries
- Negatively impact positive parenting
- Stress and lack of regulating emotions
So the inverse of that, scientifically, here is how sleep can positively impact your life:
- Boost memory, creativity, and attention span
- Weight management
- Muscle recovery
- Improve mental health
- Boost our immunity
So parents….when you are in the thick of it, prioritize sleep! Even if it means having to go to bed at 8:00 pm. Tik Tok and Instagram can wait 🙂
Penny for your thoughts?
Thank you for being here.
Alejandra at Living Well Co.
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