Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mothers and Sleep Deprivation

I believe that sleep deprivation and interrupted sleep played a part in my having a seizure.

I had been sleep deprived since I became pregnant with my first child, during breastfeeding especially and never got to claim back my sleep debt when the second child came along with more breastfeeding difficulties. Not only was I sleep deprived, my sleep was often poor as it would be interrupted numerous times. It was even worse after the second child came along because I could not "sleep when the baby sleeps" as often advised. Usually when the baby sleeps, I had another active toddler to pay attention to, another toddler who needed personal one to one attention from me that was not possible while the baby was awake.

Even after the difficult first few months of looking after a baby was over, I still did not get good sleep. Quite often while breastfeeding my baby and telling my toddler stories during bedtime and waiting for them to sleep before me, I had to fight against my sleepiness. Sometimes, the words of the stories I was telling came out all jumbled up. I would be trying to tell a story but the wrong words came out of my mouth because I was so sleepy! And sometimes I suffered from imsomnia too, after waking up for midnight feeds or after the sleepiness had passed. After waking up in the middle of the night to look after baby, sometimes it was hard to get back to sleep as I would feel quite wide awake from all that babycare activity.

I would advise all mothers to please get some sleep! Don't think that you're supermom and deprive your body of sleep when its needed. I believed that my fighting against my body's need for sleep for so many years probably overtaxed my brain and was bad for my health. This is only my own feeling or assumption and not something medical since I am not a medical doctor. Still, its common sense that sleep is important to us and we should not derpive our bodies of it nor try to fight against the need to sleep and rest. Quite often, I hear mothers say, "If I want to do this and that or have a little time for myself I have to sacrifice my sleep." I don't think that is a very good idea.

So mothers, if you are feeling sleep deprived, try to get some sleep whenever you can. Ask your spouse to take over for a while so you can get some important snooze. Look after yourself and your body by getting the sleep you need. Don't allow a sleep deficit to last for too long. Only then, will you be able to look after your family even better. Not getting enough sleep also makes you feel more grumpy and clumsy making you lousy company for your spouse and kids!

Related post:
My sleep will never be the same again

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  1. Sorry to hear about your condition.

    Don't worry too much, it will only aggravate your condition.

    Frankly you've done a great deal which I don't think I can handle, if it wasn't with the help of my family member.

    As for imsomnia, I used to have sleeping problem, coz I'm a light sleeper with low blood pressure problem. So I always have difficulty going to sleep, lack of appetite, feeling tired and very stressed up. I find that vit B complex helps. You can consult your doc about it.

    But nothing beats exercising and breeze walking. Like you mentioned, we, mothers need to take care of ourselves first, so that we have the energy to love and care for our loved. :)

    Hope everything will turn out fine for you.

  2. I'm considered quite selfish leh... When my second one came out..when come 7pm, I put No.1 to bed, don't care sleepy or not. I trained No.2 to sleep by himself. problems, No.1 sleep at 6.50pm-7am, No.2 sleeps at 6pm-7am. very possible..but I'm a TV addict... hee hee!!

    But, anyway, my point is, you're right. All mothers need sleep..but some mums cannot bear to let their kids sleep by themselves, which doesn't really benefit either child or mother. I understand co-sleeping (I've been there)..but I advocate sleeping independently more!

  3. Hi Dolphine,
    Long time no see. Thank you for the encouraging words. :)

    Wow! Your kids sleep at 6-7pm. Amazing! (To me that is. Haha.) Mine sleeps at 10-11pm! Hubby is always complaining about this but they sleep so late because I'm a nightbird myself. Hehe.

  4. Hehe...I remembered my aunt used to ask me to sleep whenever my son's asleep. But I just couldn't. I guess I'll be facing the same problem when I have my 2nd 1.


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