People tend to make light of the sleepless nights that new parents experience when they have a new baby. We all go through it, and so we tend to laugh it off once our little ones grow up and start sleeping through the night.
But sleep deprivation is no laughing matter, and it can have serious effects on your mental health and, subsequently, on your relationship.
In today's episode, I want to look at some of the actual physical changes that take place in your brain and body when you don't get enough sleep, and talk about how those changes can make you less likely to approach conflicts with your partner in an impartial, rational way, as well as what you can do, starting tonight, to address the issue.
It's not like we don't know that our kids need a lot of sleep. Every parent in the world realizes that babies sleep a lot more than adults, but when's the last time you actually thought about why?
The obvious answer, "They get cranky if they don't sleep," is true of course, but there's a lot of fascinating science behind that fact, and sleep does so much more for our little ones than just regulating their mood.
So today, I'm going to look at the amazing operation going on inside your baby's body and mind while they snooze, and why it's so vital for helping them grow, keeping them healthy, and getting them off to a great start in life.
Most of the parents I've worked with over the years fall into a very common trap when it comes to their baby's sleep, and it's because it's such a reasonable belief.
"The more tired you are, the better you'll sleep."
Seems like a no-brainer, right? Like food or water, the more your body needs, the more it will accommodate.
The fact is, this notion isn't just inaccurate, it's actually just the opposite. Because of our bodies' natural response to overtiredness, it causes light, fragmented sleep in babies as well as adults.
So how do you avoid that pitfall? The most important thing to keep your eye on is how long your baby is awake between naps.
In today's episode, I've got some specific guidelines to keep your baby's "awake window" in the appropriate range for their age, as well as some tips to help you adjust the schedule if you find things aren't going as planned.
Taking daytime naps is something we usually associate with babies and toddlers, and for good reason. Young kids need a lot of sleep and tend to get a big chunk of it during the day.
But as more people are realizing, daytime naps are rewarding for adults too. They can be a great tool to regulate your nighttime sleep and stay on top of your game throughout the day.
However, I've heard from a lot of people that they either can't get to sleep during the day, or that naps leave them feeling groggy when they wake up from them, and even that they interfere with their nighttime sleep.
I personally am a big believer in the rejuvenating effects of a quick daytime snooze, and I take a nap almost every day. In today's episode, I'll talk about why they're so beneficial, and share a few of my strategies for getting to sleep quickly and waking at the right time to ensure you get up refreshed and energized, and don't impede your ability to get back to sleep at bedtime.