Insomnia and sleep disorders are getting more common today, and lacking out on those much needed 7- 8 hours of sleep a day can create havoc on your metabolism and overall quality of life. Being a new mom can be tough – you’ve got to eat healthy and get back your strength, and also take care of your little baby.
All the overwhelming workload that follows childbirth can get on your nerves and leave you feeling frazzled, and possibly insomniac as well. If you too, are having trouble falling asleep even though you’re tired, you may want to keep reading.
What Is Postpartum Insomnia?
Simply put, postnatal insomnia after baby is the inability of a new mom to sleep properly. Many new moms do not find enough time to get some sleep, and are busy tending to their newborn.
Sleep disturbances including insomnia are often thought to lead to depression, and in reverse, it could also turn out to be a symptom of postpartum depression – nevertheless, postnatal insomnia requires immediate attention. (1)
Causes Of Postnatal Insomnia:
A woman’s body undergoes many physical and hormonal changes during and post pregnancy, and many of these changes also bring along certain side effects, including insomnia. Postnatal or postpartum insomnia is usually characterized by an inability to fall asleep, racing thoughts, night sweats, rapid heartbeats and even strange dreams.
Depending upon the cause, postnatal insomnia can last as long as several months following childbirth, and is speculated to affect around 15% of all new moms. Some common causes of postnatal insomnia include:
- Hormonal changes that follow childbirth are believed to be one of the major causes of postnatal insomnia.
- The frequently changing levels of the hormone estrogen and other hormones during pregnancy and post delivery is often put to blame for postnatal insomnia.
- Many other changes occurring due to hormonal fluctuations such as depression, hot flashes and anxiety can also individually affect a new mom’s ability to sleep. (2)
[ Read: How To Deal With Postnatal Sweating ]
Effects Of Postnatal Insomnia:
Just like other health conditions, postnatal insomnia too, needs to be dealt with at the earliest to reduce the harmful impacts associated with it. Listed below are certain common effects of postnatal insomnia:
- Having less than the recommended amount of sleep in a day can increase body mass index, which may in turn, increase your likelihood of being affected by obesity.
- Insomnia, in general, is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- A decrease in the ability to pay attention and recall new information is also observed in sleep deprived individuals.
- Sleep deprivation and insomnia is also linked to an increased risk of depression, substance abuse and other psychiatric conditions. (3)
- Postpartum insomnia can also have a negative impact on the woman’s emotional, psychological and physical well being. It can spike up anxiety, exhaustion and irritable behaviour.
- It is also believed that the lack of sufficient sleep can impact the new mom’s ability to care for her baby. (4)
[ Read: How To Deal With Postnatal Depression ]
Tips To Handle Postnatal Insomnia:
Following some simple steps can actually work wonders in tackling postnatal insomnia and can help a new mom relax and get enough sleep.
1. Sleeping early is one of the best ways to get enough sleep- trying relaxing activities such as soaking in a bath can help.
2. Trying 10 minutes of deep relaxation exercises can also help your body stay calm, and can help you sleep better.
3. Sleeping when the baby sleeps can also ensure that you get a good chunk of your much needed sleep hours.
If all of these techniques fail to work, you could visit a professional to get help and deal with your postnatal insomnia. (5)
We hope this article helped you understand more about postnatal insomnia. Did any of these tips help you get to sleep better? Let us know in the comments box below.
- 5 Simple Ways To Tackle Postnatal Depression
- 7 Amazing Benefits Of Postnatal Exercises
- Postpartum Psychosis – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments
- 6 Important Measures To Tackle Postpartum Fatigue
- How To Deal With Hot Flashes During Pregnancy?
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