We all know sleep deprivation comes with having a newborn- though newborns sleep a lot, it’s only in around 2 hour chunks. Therefore you are only able to sleep in 2 hour chunks too- well it’s actually less by the time you’ve put your baby down and managed to fall asleep yourself, you feel like you’ve only just dropped off before you’re woken again!
When you’ve had a baby, you truly understand sleep deprivation. But what happens if you and your child are still not getting enough sleep after you’re out of the newborn phase? Well, you’re still sleep deprived!
When are you sleep deprived?
Every individual has a slightly different sleep need. Adults should have between 8 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you are not getting this, then you will be sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation is hazardous for both you and your child. It’s far more serious than just being a little tired.
Some of the effects of sleep deprivation:
- Memory lapses or loss,
- Increased blood pressure,
- Increased stress hormone levels,
- Hand tremors,
- Increased risk of fibromyalgia.
When driving sleep deprived you’re at more of a risk of having a serious accident and your reaction times are the same as driving drunk!
Some risks to your child:
- Increased temper tantrums,
- More accident prone,
- Has trouble winding down,
- Becomes more active as the night goes on,
- Poor emotional regulation
- Difficulty concentrating
- Defiant behavior,
- As well as the health risks which effect you!
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to stunted growth, as well as attention disorders (ADD and ADHD). Recent studies show that a child who lacks sleep as an infant and child has a higher chance of being obese as a teen and an adult. Children who do not learn healthy sleep habits are more likely to continue these habits as an adult.
Teaching your child to sleep is so important. If you have a child who is over 9 months old and waking (where you need to help your child) many times a night, you are both sleep deprived. By taking the little time it takes to sleep train your child, you are actually setting your child up for better health as a child and an adult and just imagine how you’d feel after getting 8 hours of sleep a night!