It is Mother’s day and today is the day we get to do something extra special for our mothers. But it isn’t material gifts that most mothers need.
A survey by Mother and Baby magazine found that moms only got an average of four hours sleep a night during the first four months of their baby’s life and once their baby reached 18 months, they still only average five hours a night. This doesn’t level out when the baby reaches a certain age, with a growing child comes added new responsibilities and any mother will tell you that there’s never enough hours in a day to get everything done.
We don’t need a survey to tell us that chronic sleep deprivation affects every area in our lives but here is what it can do:
- Sleep deprivation impacts mood – Specific to new moms, many studies show that moms whose babies have sleep problems are at greater risk for postpartum depression. In studies that have given parents advice in managing their baby’s sleep, resulting in improved sleep for the baby, maternal mood improves as well.
- Sleep deprivation impacts cognitive function – A lack of sleep affects cognitive abilities, and we’re not just talking about being able to take a test but it affects memory, being able to multitask , reaction time and alertness – all things that mothers need to take care of their children, partners, a household and a career!
- Sleep deprivation affects overall health – Studies have found that you need sleep as much as you need to eat and breath. A chronic lack of sleep can lower your body’s defenses, putting you at risk of developing a long term illness affecting your immune, circulatory and respiratory systems.
The best Mother’s day gift for a sleep deprived mom
Material presents are appreciated but the best gift we can give to any mother is a blissful night/s of uninterrupted sleep. Maybe continue on and make her breakfast in bed and get some fresh flowers too. But this year, consider a gift that isn’t store bought and give the perfect gift of sleep for the woman that does it all for us.