It is common knowledge that new parents can expect to lose out on sleep once baby arrives. Regular feeding schedules and irregular sleeping schedules for baby both mean a full night of sleep becomes difficult to come by. As much as this may be a part of life, parents need to be aware that new studies show that interrupted sleep is just as rough as not enough sleep. In fact, regular interruptions during an eight hour stretch of sleep leaves a body feeling – and functioning - as if it has only slept for four.
You may plan to get as much quality sleep as possible during pregnancy before baby arrives, and then catch up once baby is on a regular schedule and everyone is sleeping through the night. However, many moms know that pregnancy also presents it own problems to sleep: nightwaking from nausea, bladder urgency, difficulty fnding a comfortable sleeping position, etc.
The good news is that there are things you can do both during pregnancy and once baby arrives to get as much sleep as possible….even if interruptions and some deprivation is unavoidable. Check out these articles, depending on where you are in early parenthood:
“How to find the right sleep position, cope with night waking (and your constant need to pee), and get a good night’s sleep during pregnancy”
“10 Tips to Improve Sleep for New Moms”
If you are no longer dealing with routine interruptions at night from family, animals, home, etc. but are still finding that you cannot sleep through the night, you may still be suffering from enough interruption to your sleep to feel the effects of sleep deprivation. If this has last more than a few nights in a row, or you are feeling overly tired during the day, speak to your doctor. More and more studies are showing the importance of sleep in overall health, and the sooner you get help, the better and healthier you will feel.
If your bed partner has noticed snoring, pauses or gasps in your breathing at night, or if you are experiencing morning headaches, increased daytime tiredness, or any other symptom that may indicate that you are not getting quality sleep, please contact Noran Neurological Clinic at 612-879-1500 to schedule an appointment with a neurologist specializing in sleep medicine.