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Welcome to Sleep Awareness Week. Who wants to feel better?

Sleep deprivation isn't just a personal nuisance, but can directly (and dangerously) affect those around us, including those who need us most.

Sleep deprivation after baby is born is common, but can be a serious problem for new parents and mental health. Anxiety, postpartum depression, mood swings, even drowsy driving and child abuse can come from chronic lost sleep for both new mothers and new fathers.

#sleepbetterfeelbetter sleep better feel better national sleep awareness week

New parents and sleep: A classic sleep deprivation scenario

Here are some great inks reflecting on sleep deprivation and the multiple challenges facing new parents.

For those who are going to become new parents soon, or who plan on having a family in the future, SHC advises you to plan to get help during those first few months so that you can catch up on lost sleep. Check out what we’ve said about this previously.

Help can come from babysitters, family members, doulas, older children, your partner, even your employer, if you work and can arrange a flex-time schedule.

Just because crazy sleep schedules are part of the work one must manage as a new father or mother does not mean you have to suffer or accrue irreplaceable hours of sleep debt.


APR 24: Romper
How Are New Moms Affected By Sleep Loss? 6 Ways The Exhaustion Is Harmful
Curator’s comment:
Applies to new dads, too!

APR 17: Romper
How Losing Sleep Affects Your Parenting, Aside From Making You Tired As Hell
Curator’s comment:
 Being tired as hell = sleep deprivation. We already know how judgment and mood are compromised by lost sleep. As parents, we need to be careful that we don’t make dangerous decision and emotionally fueled mistakes because of it.

APR 17: Romper
Is It Harder To Breastfeed At Night? There’s A Reason Why You’re So Exhausted
Curator’s comment:
 I found that side-nursing in a bed in the same room as the baby at night helped us both out. They got to nurse, I got less interrupted sleep. I also found that playing low-volume classical music helped us both to relax. It became a treasured mother-baby time for me, something to look forward to.

APR 15: Metro
The story of a ‘rubbish’ mother: How postnatal depression ruined a year of my life
Curator’s comment:
 I had a brief fling with PPD myself. Don’t be afraid to get help, it’s a win-win for everyone.

APR 12: The Telegraph
Crying babies can reduce household income by 11 per cent an hour
Curator’s comment:
 This is where getting a break and reclaiming sleep, even if only for yourself, can truly save you as a new parent. Economics matter.

MAR 31: The Mighty
How Chrissy Teigen’s Essay on Depression Encouraged Me to Get Support
Curator’s comment:
 “Hormones. Moods. No filter.” Says it all.

MAR 17: Van Winkle’s
13 Tales of Sleep Deprivation from New Parents
Curator’s comment:
 In case you are feeling alone in all of this… A sense of humor goes a long way, but can be curtailed by—you guessed it!—sleep deprivation.

FEB 24: Romper
How Much Sleep You Actually Need In Your First 3 Months Postpartum
Curator’s comment:
 Real advice from the trenches.

FEB 1: Huffington Post UK
This Timeless Baby Sleep Trick Is Everything A New Parent Needs
Curator’s comment:
 Two decades ago, I did a similar thing: gentle massage on the “third eye” between the brows. Totally works.

JAN 11: ZME Science
Fledgling dad turns daughter’s sleeping patterns into an amazing graphic
Curator’s comment:
 When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Everybody loves lemonade. It’s clarifying.

NO DATE: National Sleep Foundation
Should New Parents Sleep When the Baby Sleeps?
Curator’s comment:
 Grateful that this article is inclusive. It’s not just mothers who stay home with their babies anymore… fathers who stay home can also gain from following this advice.

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It makes zero sense to shortchange yourself sleep!

Sleep is as necessary to good health as water, sunshine, movement, and nutrition. Without sleep, humans become chronically ill and can even die. Don’t skimp on sleep. If you’re losing sleep, for whatever reason, think about why and what you can do to make a healthy change.

Good sleep can help prevent illness, relieve symptoms of illnesses, ease pain, improve mood, and keep you safe from accidents caused by sleep deprivation.

This week, we’ll be sharing some different ideas about how sleep can impact your mental health as part of our 4 Ms theme, focusing on mind, mood, memory, and mental health.

ACTION ITEM: Look for shares, moments, and links in Twitter by following @sleepyheadctrl and/or looking for the hashtag, #SleepBetterFeelBetter

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