According to studies, new parents lose up to 44 days or 1056 hours in the first year of having a child. What with all the feeding, changing, and keeping the house in order, sleep goes to the last spot in the list of priorities for people who just had a kid.
This staggering amount of sleep deprivation is especially bad for your health. A lot of new parents buckle to the mildest viruses and suffer from weak immune systems in the early years of their kids. It’s not too surprising, especially among hands-on parents, as they work so hard to keep up with the demands of being a new parent. However, you don’t have to suffer harder than necessary. With some proper preparation, you can get ahead in the parenting game without compromising your health and sleep.
If you’re an expecting parent, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the inevitable sleep deprivation that you will suffer from. Here are some examples:
Sleep while you still can
If it’s your first time getting pregnant, people will surely tell you to sleep while you still can. Losing sleep while taking care of a newborn is a typical experience that people with experience will surely give out such a wise piece of advice. Many experienced parents will tell you to get more sleep while you’re still pregnant, so you can preempt the upcoming sleep loss you’ll surely experience. This way, you can also bank on some sleep, so you can lessen the impact of your impending sleep debt.
The only problem that you can experience in having to sleep more while pregnant is that pregnancy can also cause some sleep issues. The frequent need to urinate, occurrences of heartburns, discomfort, and bouts of RLS (restless leg syndrome) typically disrupt a pregnant woman’s sleep, making it difficult to catch more zzz’s. This article from Metro Parent Magazine can give you some tips in dealing with some sleep woes.
Understand pregnancy sleep better
There are lots of sleep issues that you can experience while pregnant, as pointed out earlier. However, there are tons of tips and tricks that you can learn about with the right amount of research. Read up on various pregnancy and sleep topics starting with the National Sleep Foundation.
Stop stressing out
Whether you’re pregnant or not, stress is one of the biggest hindrances to sleep. Of course, while carrying a child, there are just tons of worries that you could be fretting about. Remember, however, that worrying too much will get you nowhere and may even damage your baby’s health, so try to relax a little and try to nod off as much as you can.
Welcome the idea of getting some help
A lot of new parents are determined to enter parenthood on their own. While there’s no problem in having the drive and confidence of doing that, you should also welcome some help from relatives and loved ones. It will be especially hard for new parents to deal with sleep deprivation, catering to a newborn’s every need, as well as run a household, so some assistance should be a welcome thing.
Being a new parent is definitely an exciting and challenging phase of one’s life, so many are just over the moon in being one. While every parent only want the best for their little ones, also remember to take better care of yourself, so you can make sure that you’ll be able to care for your child.
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