Before reading this remember that sleep deprivation comes with motherhood.
It’s about how we manage and reduce it as much as is within our control to have better quality of sleep when we get it.
Nutrition, hydration and the right exercise for you (we are not talking boot camps here! Your body is already exhausted) all improve our sleep quality.
Sleep deprivation increases your stress levels and your stress levels impact your quality of sleep.
Lack of sleep also increases cortisol levels, your stress hormone, which causes weight gain . High cortisol levels effect your gut health and immunity too.
Sleep deprivation reduces your body’s collagen production. You need collagen for your body to heal . (see blog on nutrition for healing https://www.pregnancyandbeyondcheshire.co.uk/post/postnatal-healing-collagen )
Lack of sleep makes us irritable and less able to cope. We make unhealthy food choices when we are tired creating a vicious circle. (In my 1:1 sessions I help you look at how you can practically make healthy food choices when over tired). Being prepared is the best weapon!
And yes we all have days when it all just goes out the window!!
Be gracious with yourself, it’s not about perfection!
Don’t worry it isn’t all doom and gloom! I can help you and you can take control!
1. Hydrate: Throughout the day. Our body needs water to function. It carries essential nutrients and oxygen around our body. It keeps our joints and muscles moving and working. It makes us alert, helps our brains to work and not be all foggy. It gives us energy. Helps us sleep better.
2. Nutrition: Your body needs the right vitamins, minerals, proteins and wholegrains to work, to heal, to boost your immunity, give you energy to function and help you sleep better. Wholesome, comforting foods to help heal our bodies. (See nutrition for healing blog: https://www.pregnancyandbeyondcheshire.co.uk/post/postnatal-healing-collagen)
Foods rich in Tryptophin increase your bodies serotonin (happy hormone) and melatonin (sleepy hormone) leaving us happy and relaxed. They are, banana, egg, tuna, lettuce, almonds, poultry and yoghurt. Eating breakfast within 30 min of getting up in the morning boosts your metabolism and increases your serotonin production in the morning and melatonin in the evening. Skipping breakfast impacts our sleep at night.
3. Exercise: Increases our energy levels, releases endorphins. Releases serotonin, our happy and relaxed hormone. Boosts your metabolism. Exercise gets oxygen and nutrients pumping around your body. It helps you poop. Constipation can add to feeling groggy, irritable and not sleeping well. (blog on Constipation: https://www.pregnancyandbeyondcheshire.co.uk/post/constipation). It improves your posture and breathing. Helps your lymphatic system get rid of toxins and boosts your immunity. All contributing to better sleep and energy.
Talk to your partner about sleep deprivation. How it can affect you and how you can understand and support one another. I talk about this in my 4th trimester 1:1 sessions and workshop: https://www.pregnancyandbeyondcheshire.co.uk/hcr-iii )
Look out for signs of Postnatal Depression and avoid confusing it with sleep deprivation so you can get help. Speak to your Health Visitor or GP.