If you ask any mother what they found most difficult about becoming a mother suffering from sleeplessness will be at the top of the list. Every mother at some point will suffer from sleepless nights.
Sadly sleep deprivation is something you can not avoid when you’re a mommy and don’t think when they grow up it gets any easier, they just wake you regardless if you shut your bedroom door or hide under the duvet.
We expect babies to wake us up during the night but this change in sleep patterns really can wreak havoc on our physical and emotional health. I have 6 children and while my youngest is now 5, I remember all to well that dreaded feeling of sitting with a screaming baby in the middle of the night, worried that I had no idea what was wrong.
I also remember those nights when I just couldn’t sleep, I would sit peering into the Moses basket, just to make sure I could their chest rising and falling, sometimes afraid to go to sleep, especially if they had a cold when they tiny babies.
Nothing can prepare you for having your first baby, no matter how many babies you have been around, actually bringing your first home for that first time is terrifying, yet exciting. To be solely responsible for another human being, is it any wonder so many mums suffer from sleeplessness due to the stress we cope with day in, day out.
Mums and Sleep Deprivation
Sleep doesn’t come easily to mothers, regardless of how old their kids are. While newborn babies are expected to disrupt our sleep. It’s then the turn of the toddler to keep you awake, then your school child and your pre-teen and then your teenager, we may as well just not go to bed some nights.
For me, sleeplessness plays such a huge factor in my day to day role as a mom, when I have had less than 8 hours sleep I really do find it difficult to carry out the normal days routine.
Of course, we would all love to sleep better but a lot of the sleep advice is about improving your sleeping environment and calming techniques, which is all well and good, but it doesn’t help much when you’re up six times during the night sticking the dummy into a squalling child’s mouth.
Sleeplessness is the dark side of parenting
Mothers think of sleep as time wasting, it’s a time when they could catch up on the housework, the washing or ironing. We forget or ignore the biological necessity of sleep.I know when I am overtired as I become emotional, I easily cry for no reason and feel everything is ten times worse than what it is.
The best tip I can give is to sleep whenever you can, to leave the housework and the non-priority tasks and just sleep when you feel you’re able too.
Causes, Cures, and Treatments for Insomnia is a great article full of useful tips.