My youngest son was very sick as a baby and wore a breathing monitor for two years. Consequently, he and I did not sleep through the night for over five years, yes five years! I know it sounds ridiculous but what began as a health problem, became a bad habit; one that I was very relieved to finally overcome.
Sleep problems are so common that there is even a National Sleep Foundation (lots of great info on their site). Approximately one in five adults suffers from a sleep problem. Among certain populations sleep deprivation is more prevalent: moms of young children, shift workers, business people who travel often and the elderly.
Good sleep is essential for health, happiness and success. During sleep your body repairs itself and your brain processes information from the day. Sleep deprivation can make you unwell, unhappy, unfocussed and underachieve!
Adults need on average eight hours of quality restful sleep in order to stay healthy. Children need more.
Sleep problems in moms
As you may know I am a mom expert: I have been one for 16 years, have written a book on motherhood (Beyond Soccer Mom) and I have worked with hundreds of moms. Sleep problems are very common in moms of young children, partly because they have an increase in causes of sleep deprivation:
- ·Your little ones waking you during the night
- ·Too much caffeine,
- ·Stress, worry, anxiety and depression
- ·Pregnancy, PMS, perimenopause and menopause (don’t you love being a woman!)
- ·Sharing a bed or room with a snorer
- ·Other health problems: which becomes a viscous circle
- ·Poor bed time routine or uncomfortable bed or pillow
Sleep deprivation is bad for you! It can causes many problems including:
- ·Weight and craving sugary food
- ·Premature skin aging (yes the phrase “beauty sleep” is grounded in science)
- ·Poor attention,
- ·Depression and anxiety in all ages groups,
- ·Poor performance in all you do from sports through to laundry,
- ·Mood instability,
- ·Unhealthy habits,
- ·Increased risk of diabetes,
- ·Worsening of symptoms of any preexisting illness,
- ·Traffic accidents.
In part 2, we’ll discuss how to address your sleep problems. For more information on the latest trends in health follow my blog, http://blog.ctnews.com/drrhodes/