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Most adults need at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep every 24 hours in order to function properly and some need as much as eight hours, but new parents, research shows, get less than four hours sleep each night because of disturbances created by their children. This major deficit in sleep required to function properly can lead to mood swings, depression, arguments and even break-ups.
As many as 12% of parents get less than 2.5 hours sleep per night. 1,000 parents were questioned to mark national Love Your Bed week. It does seems unfair that a side effect of being a new parent renders you unfit to actually be a new parent by making you into a confused, exhausted person existing in a sleep-walking state.
Sleep Deprivation Symptoms
- Sleep derivation can leave you feeling disorientated, confused and irritable.
- It can effect your work and home life and indeed your feelings towards your baby because you blame them for your lack of sleep.
- It can be more difficult to handle stress or emotions and make you more clumsy and accident-prone.
- It can result in weight gain as the metabolism changes and appetite can be altered.
- Over time the immune system becomes less efficient making you prone to illness.
Coping with lack of sleep
Cat nap - take cat naps when ever you can during the day. Ensure the baby is safe or get someone to come and look after baby while you take a rest. Avoid napping in the evening as this may interrupt your sleep pattern.
Cure for lack of sleep
There is only one: get some sleep!