That number sounds like a luxury now that there’s an infant in the house. Gone are the days of sleeping my beloved 8-10 hour stretches of undisturbed princess slumber.
Yes, I was aware beforehand that babies didn’t let parents sleep very much… everybody knows that. My friends with little ones would vent about how exhausted they were and I would empathize (to some extent) on how lack of sleep is rough. But now that I too am in that sleep deprived parental mode, exhaustion has a whole new meaning to me. I myself have become the friend that vents about being tired.
But baby’s sleep a ton!?!
Yes, they do. However, they sleep in sporadic segments (at least for the newborn phase). In addition to napping, you also need to eat, shower and maybe even do household chores in that spare time. So catching up on that sleep debt is not always priority numero uno.
The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health. It also impacts your daily life including your productivity, emotions, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight.
Sleep isn’t merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain keeps working, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition. Think of your body as a fancy car. If you don’t detail it, service it regularly and put a ton of miles on it without rest, that beauty of a machine is going to turn to a rusty heap of metal real fast. Without enough hours of sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on “service” and you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.
In other words, the laundry can wait. There is a reason why many advise to “Sleep when baby sleeps!”
The good news is that you don’t have to choose between health and productivity. By addressing any sleep problems and making time to get the sleep you need each night, your energy, efficiency, and overall health will go up. In fact, you’ll likely get much more done during the day than if you were skimping on shuteye and trying to work longer.
What about a quick cat nap?!
A 20 minute nap will help you:
- put you in a better mood
- be more alert
- enhance performance
A 30-60 minute nap is not ideal, as you have hit a deeper stage of sleep but have not completed a full sleep cycle. This results in a “sleep hangover”, and you’ll feel more groggy than not having taken a nap!
A 90 minute nap is the ideal length of time:
- you will feel refreshed
- creativity is boosted
- memory is strengthened
Sleep is broken into two phases: REM (rapid eye movement) which is when you dream and non REM (NREM).
NREM has three stages:
- Drowsy and semi aware of surroundings
- Body and eye movements cease. Brain waves slow down. Aka. “Falling asleep”
- Deep sleep (the precursor to REM)
During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system.
During REM sleep, the brain busily replenishes neurotransmitters that organize neural networks essential for remembering, learning, performance and problem solving.
Sleep deprivation can do a number on you! I was (and still somewhat am) experiencing:
- muscle aches
- memory lapse or loss
- dark undereye circles
- bags under my eyes
Fun stuff… ughhhh
Anyhow. Bottom line?
GO. TO. SLEEP
Which is what I’m going to do RIGHT NOW!
Per usual, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Likes, comments and sharing are all appreciated responses!