Moms Don't Get Enough Sleep
By Kate Gardner
It's 2:30 in the morning and I'm awakened by the sound of little feet pounding a path to my bedroom door. My 5-year-old hasn't quite mastered the art of sleeping through the night and often pays me a visit when she's had a bad dream, her water cup is missing, or her blankets aren't just right. I'd like to say it's a rare occurrence, but truthfully it happens most nights. I try to wake up as little as possible, keeping my eyes half closed while I deal with whatever the night's problem is, but waking up every night takes a toll on my sleep.
Loss of Sleep
I'm far from the only mother losing sleep because of children. As Motherly.com reports, moms lose an average of an hour of sleep per night once the baby arrives. And the sleep deprivation doesn't stop once that cute little bundle is sleeping through the night. Research shows that moms continue to get less sleep until their child is about 6 years old. Dads do lose sleep as well, but only about 15 minutes per night on average.
Older Children Get Up Too
It makes sense that new moms are losing sleep as they get up multiple times per night to deal with a newborn. But even as children get older, they still may need a hefty dose of nighttime parenting. Older kids wake mom up when they get sick, have nightmares, or because they can't sleep. Jodi Mindell, a psychologist who specializes in sleep, tells WebMD that moms may contribute to their own sleep deficit. After a long day of working and taking care of kids, moms may choose to stay up late and have "me-time" instead of going to bed on time.
Mindell makes several recommendations for moms seeking a better night's sleep. While bedtime routines are recommended for kids, don't make them so elaborate they take hours to complete and leave you running on empty. Save some of that bedtime energy for yourself and come up with your own bedtime routine to help you enjoy winding down at a decent hour. Getting enough sleep can make you feel better than staying up till midnight watching TV. It's important to make sleep a priority, recognizing that it is as important as exercise and a healthy diet. Also consider health problems, such as sleep apnea, that may be interfering with your quality slumber.
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