Sleeping well consistently is challenging for most people, but for new parents, with young children, it’s a whole different story, quality sleep is often elusive for months on end. That doesn’t stop it from being important to our overall well-being, and it should still be something we still strive to improve, even during these difficult periods of our lives. While we have always known sleep is something that we need to do, it’s considered important for both our short and long-term physical and mental health. Being a tired mom is normal but being overly tired all of the time is not helpful for the family, so it is important to recognize when we need more sleep and plan a way to get it.
But just how important is a good night’s sleep?
Anecdotally sleep complaints are on the increase, and this is highly likely to be the case in a world that is increasingly stressful. However, how much does that actually matter, what does science actually say about not sleeping as much and as well?
A 1997 study conducted at The University of Chicago looking at sleep loss found that reduced sleep led to elevated cortisol levels the next evening. Symptoms of high cortisol levels include weight gain, mood swings, and increased anxiety. While a more recent 2008 meta-analysis completed at The University of Warwick found that short duration of sleep in both children and adults increased the risk of obesity. For more information about the science behind getting a perfect night’s sleep, check out the following infographic created by De Vere Hotels: