How to avoid long term sleep deprivation after having a baby

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We know that sleep deprivation is not good for us, particularly for prolonged periods of time. According to Dr. Pamela Smith, ND getting less than six hours of sleep a night can lead to severe sleep deprivation, and chronic sleep deprivation can have very serious health implications. Read more from Dr. Pam here, and an article on the findings of neuroscientist Matthew Walker here.

I recently came across this insightful article about parenthood and sleep deprivation. It discusses the results of a study published earlier this year in journal Sleep which tracked the sleep of thousands of men and women with children with growing families. Key takeaways are excerpted below.

shuteye hits a low for parents about three months after birth – with the effect strongest in women.

while parents gradually saw an improvement in their sleep as their firstborn grew, it seems their night-time rest was never quite the same again.

neither mothers’ nor fathers’ sleep fully recovers to prepregnancy levels up to 6 years after the birth of their first child.

According to the source, worries and stress associated with parenthood may also be contributing factors to sleep deprivation.

I would not expect this information to come as a surprise to parents, especially Mothers. We've lived through it, often in survival mode!

Sleep deprivation does not have to be the norm when you have babies and small children. In fact, rather than sleep hitting an all time low for parents with newborns at the three month mark, many who have used our program have reported that’s when they began to get more sleep again. This is because their baby consistently began to sleep for 10+ uninterrupted hours at night resulting in more rest for Mom, Dad and other caregivers. They have also observed that the healthy feeding and sleep habits established using the program stick with children as they grow. This helps your family get back on track after your little one takes a temporary break from established sleep routines. Like when they wake up due to growth spurts, teething, illnesses, and nightmares for example.

Our baby feeding and sleep program is a tested schedule designed to ensure you get the self-care and sleep you need, and that your baby is happy, well feed and also gets their sleep. It is co-written by two Mothers, a lawyer and a physician. Find out more or download the complete program (or the condensed 10 page guide for free) here.

Related posts:
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How much sleep should my baby get each night?
How much sleep should my child get each night?
When you should start sleep training your baby
About the Calmmother feeding and sleep program
Common questions about the Calmmother feeding and sleep program (testimonial from Emily Schuman, founder of Cupcakes and Cashmere)
Why did my baby stop sleeping through the night?
What to do when your baby stops sleeping through the night
How to get your baby back on track sleeping through the night
3 things to create a consistent bedtime for children at night