impact of sleep loss on mothers

The Impact of Sleep Loss on Mothers and 9 Tips on How To Overcome It

Impact of Sleep Loss on Mothers

This post is sponsored by  Sleep.com and Mattress Firm

It’s easy to joke about middle-of-the-night feedings, and there are plenty of memes about moms who never sleep. Well-meaning people give new moms plenty of dark predictions, like “Say goodbye to sleep,” and offer contradictory advice, like “Make sure you rest, mama!” Whether you’re a seasoned parent or expecting your first child, you’ve likely heard lots about sleep and kids.

Sleep Deprivation is Serious

The truth is, the reality of sleep deprivation is serious, and helping mothers get enough rest should be a family priority. It can seem complicated, but there are ways to begin taking control over sleep and ensure that mom is getting the sleep she needs. I’ve teamed up with  Sleep.com to share practical ways to increase the amount of quality of sleep you get as a mom.

Sleep-Deprived Mothers: The Health Effects

Sleep may seem like a luxury when you’re a mom, but it’s an absolute necessity. When sleep deprivation sets in, the physical effects are numerous. You may see:

  • Dark bags under your eyes
  • Weight gain
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Decrease in sexual desire

It’s not just about adding more concealer to disguise the dark circles; it’s important to recognize the severity of even short-term sleep deprivation.

Side Effects of Prolonged Sleep Deprivation

What happens when mom doesn’t get any more rest? If it persists, sleep deprivation can cause serious and long-term effects, such as:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Other sleep disorders like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, circadian rhythm disorders, parasomnias, and insomnia.
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Sleep is the body’s opportunity to rebuild, recover, and restore. When it doesn’t get the chance, systems begin to break down. It’s not a matter of laziness; it’s a matter of absolute necessity.

Tips for Sleep-Deprived Mothers

1. Sleep when baby/toddler is sleeping

When baby goes down for a nap, do everything you can to prioritize your own sleep. Set down the dishes; let the laundry wait. Take that opportunity to allow your body to rest. You will catch up on tasks later, and if you’re rested, you’ll be able to catch up on the time you lost.

2. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Find some cute loungewear that makes you feel good, but is easy to rest in, like these joggers that are as soft and comfortable as your bed sheets. The time will come for those stylish jeans; for now, embrace soft, forgiving clothes that you can fall asleep in easily if the opportunity presents itself.

3. Have a Good Pillow and Replace It Often

If your pillow is flat, stays folded, or is yellowed, it’s time to replace it! An old, limp pillow can lead to back, neck and body pain, and can keep you from getting sleep when you’re finally able to lie down. If you’re a side-sleeper or expecting, this TEMPUR body pillow is incredibly comfortable and shapes to your body to provide the support you need.

4. Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Though it may be challenging, make every effort to stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Even if your baby will be up in a few hours, continue going to bed at the same time anyway. A regular sleep schedule, particularly going to be at the same time every day is linked to better quality sleep. Bonus: it helps set the stage for healthy sleep habit for your kids, too. 

5. Negotiate Shifts With Partner

It’s tempting to try to manage everything yourself as a mom. Societal pressures and expectations are strong, and it can feel like it’s all up to you. In fact, you need to take care of yourself properly in order to continue to take care of your family. Work with your partner, if you have one, and determine a schedule that allows both of you to rest.

6. Say Yes to Help

Especially important for single mothers, accepting help is essential. If a relative or friend offers to lend a hand, ask if they will hold or play with the baby while you nap. Let others help with grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, or caring for any other children in the family.

7. Say No to Added Responsibilities

There will be time to take on new challenges, but not during the time you’re still adjusting to a newborn or working with a toddler’s sleep struggles. Have the courage to say no now, so you can stay healthy and say yes later.

8. Practice Healthy Sleep Habits

Make sure you’re in a good state of mind to encourage high quality sleep. Try meditation, breathing techniques, or journaling. Turning off your phone before bedtime is a great way to reduce the effects of the blue light on your circadian rhythm and help you fall asleep faster. Also, try yoga at night before bed to put your body in the most relaxed state possible.

9. Use a Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets can often improve sleep by making you more comfortable, and stimulating the deep pressure sensation of a tight hug or a baby’s swaddle. If you haven’t tried a weighted blanket yet, look for one like this BlanQuil Basic Weighted Blanket. It has both quality and style with a good weight, breathable material and sleek duvet cover.

Every Little Bit Helps

Putting in extra effort to improve your sleep quality can feel like a chore when you’re staring down sleep deprivation, but it’s totally worth it. Make sure you enlist your family and your support system when implementing these tips! A happy, rested mom makes a happy family.

50 comments on “The Impact of Sleep Loss on Mothers and 9 Tips on How To Overcome It

  1. Oh gosh, I hate when I don’t get enough sleep. That was the toughest part of having babies for me. I do replace my pillow often!

  2. Mothers have it rough because those babies are very needy and they are trying to always do their best. These are great tips I could have used when I had my babies

  3. Honestly, it’s quite traumatic when you don’t sleep. When you have kids this can build up. There are times you need someone to watch the kids so you can sleep.

  4. What a great post! It is so important to really ask for help, so many mother’s try to do it all and we must learn to relax more and get the help that we need to help us regain good , healthy sleeping habits!

  5. These are some great tips! I know we slept very little when our boys were younger. I don’t think our middle child slept thru the night until he was between 4-6 years of age. It was crazy, but these tips will help so many moms. Appreciate you sharing them.

  6. I’ve been there and I can say that it’s not easy at all. We definitely need a lot of help.

  7. Sleep is so important. If I’ve learned anything as a parent is that sleep is not only important for your kids but also the parents as well. Sleep is a top priority in our household.

  8. This is so informative! I bet I’ll need this in the future! It’s so helpful especially to newbie moms, lol.

  9. Not getting enough sleep sure can put on a strain on you. There are often times when I don’t get enough sleep and it’s tough during the day. I try my best to get my daily sleep each night.

  10. As a mom of 5, I remember those sleep-deprived years quite well. These are great tips to help people get the sleep they need.

  11. Now you tell me! It’s almost 18 years ago, and I remember thinking our baby was our responsibility, and my in-laws were staying with us, and I finally caved and let my MIL take the baby at night. She kept saying that’s why she was there! And I am grateful.

  12. I wish I had known about the weighted blanket when my kids were small. I have one now and it makes all the difference in the world.

  13. Sleeep is such a valuable commodity for a mother. I remember the days not so long ago when my kids were young and when you do not get proper sleep so much of your life suffers.

  14. Sleeping is so important for me. Even now , that I don’t have a little baby , but I work till late, I can say that i need to improve this aspect of my life.

  15. These are some great tips. Dealing with sleep loss is one of the hardest parts of becoming a new parent. Thankfully I’m well past that stage in my life.

  16. Having good sleep is the most important and essential habit…though not only mothers but everyone should take a quality of good sleep….indeed great tips and information

  17. These are great tips, and gladly, that I am not having a problem with my sleep.
    My kids sleep early, so I have a chance to rest early as well.

  18. I can very much relate to this post. It does seem that sleep deprivation is the norm once you become a mom. For me, what works well is to plan and prepare stuff for the next day’s tasks before I head on to bed. That way I don’t have to jump out of bed at 4 am.

  19. I feel you with this post! I have a 2.5 year old and 7 month old and am still up 1-3x a night with one/both of them. My husband and I have an agreed upon schedule for sleeping that works for us!

  20. Sleep is so important and cannot be overlooked. These are great tips for my friends who often complain of not getting enough sleep because of their kids. Sharing this article with them. Thanks 🙂

  21. This is probably one of the most important things for new moms to learn. Great post and ideas!

  22. One of my friends have sleep problems too, I’m worried about her, I’ll share this article to her right away.

  23. I definitely need to read this as I’ve been trying to figure out how to catch myself these last few days. My schedule is so crazy it has caused my sleeping pattern to change.

  24. Saying yes to help from others can be a total game changer! And I remember I used to sleep at the same time as my babies would and that made a difference as well. Great tips!

  25. I love the final qoute says “Every little bit helps. It’s so true and i totally agree. I didn’t know sleep does so much for mom’s.

  26. Sleep deprivation was the most difficult part of being a new mom. I never realized how much I valued and needed sleep until it was taken away from me!

  27. These are some wonderful tips for sleep-deprived moms. I really liked the idea of asking for help as it is okay to ask for support if that is helping to keep sanity alive!

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