A 10-year study by Harvard University in the US found that women with sleep problems such as falling or staying asleep and sleep apnoea have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Sleep deprivation can make everything feel bigger than it actually is and may cause feelings of overwhelm, tears, anxiety, stress, hunger and activate a range of hormones that affects your mood.
Whether it’s due to stress, the arrival of a new baby, a bout of insomnia or severe anxiety, sleep deprivation may lead to serious health issues and exhaustion. At least eight hours of sleep is required each night for optimum health and for the body to function properly, deal with stress and to rejuvenate.
Sleep tips for sleep deprived moms
There are strategies you can follow for a good night’s rest, even for new moms who hardly get any sleep at all. Nutritional consultant Vanessa Ascencao gives advice:
1. Catch up on the sleep you’ve lost
Take naps whenever possible. Try to catch up on sleep lost over weekends and ask your partner or a family member to look after your little one while you take a nap. Accept all the help and support you can get from family and friends and get a babysitter if necessary. Sleep is not a luxury, it is essential for your health.
2. Avoid bright lights from cellphones, laptops and iPads at least two hours before bedtime
Research has found that the blue light transmitted from cellphones, laptops and iPads over-stimulate the brain which will make it harder for you to fall asleep.
3. Create a sleep mood
Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and comfortable to induce sleep. Use scents like lavender and chamomile to help you relax.
4. Share responsibilities with your partner or family members and create a schedule
If you are breastfeeding, try expressing and let your partner or a family member feed the baby so you can rest. Create a feeding schedule for your baby that allows you some time for yourself between feeds.
5. Avoid sugar and caffeine
These over-stimulate the central nervous system and even with a lack of sleep can lead to further sleep deprivation and will affect your blood sugar levels, mood and hormones. Substitute coffee and caffeine with herbal teas, water and green juices.
6. Avoid big meals within two hours of bed
Digestion takes up a lot of energy and may make it difficult to fall asleep.
7. Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime
Yoga, low impact exercises and relaxation techniques like stretching and deep breathing help promote sleep.
Try supplementing with potent superfood and multi-nutrient Marcus Rohrer Spirulina for immunity, energy and overall health. Spirulina is clinically proven to help balance blood sugar levels which is essential for better-quality sleep.
Try Bach Rescue Pastilles to help manage daily stressful situations. It is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.