Mums who don't get enough sleep are more susceptible to cancer
You’re putting your health at risk when you don’t have enough sleep.
Sleep is a luxury, especially for working mums – we know that juggling your career and parenthood is difficult regardless of how old your kids are. However, there’s no point being a supermum just so you end up going through the day like a walking zombie and suffer the side effects of sleep deprivation.
Don’t underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep. Without enough shut-eye, you’re opening yourself to serious consequences to your health.
Sleep early or suffer these serious side effects of sleep deprivation
1. More susceptible to cancer
When you don’t have enough sleep, you are more likely to get breast cancer (and prostate cancer in the case of men), says the National Sleep Foundation. The John Hopkins Medicine website explains this is because of disruptions to your body’s “biological clock”, which controls sleep, raises the chances of breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer.
2. Greater risk of inflammation and heart disease
One of the more dangerous side effects of sleep deprivation is the increased chance of cardiovascular disease (according to this study). You’re also more likely to have inflammation such as pain, heat, swelling, redness and lost of function – a sign of heart health problems. Start sleeping well, especially if your family has a history of cardiovascular issues.
3. Memory loss
Studies have found that sleep deprivation has a negative effect on short-term memory (like trouble remembering words) and long-term memory. The latter study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, finds that disturbed sleep is associated with cognitive impairment in older adults. So if you have a big presentation coming up at work, make sure you’re catching up on your sleep time days or even weeks beforehand.
4. Weight problems
Feeling peckish for snacks at the workplace after trying to tuck Junior into bed all night? You’re probably not alone. This study found that the body starts demanding for high-calorie food when you lack sleep time, increasing your appetite as well. Those on a quest to lose weight should set their clocks to start sleeping earlier.
5. Your skin ages faster
For those who diligently take care of their skin, this is one of the side effects of sleep deprivation you’ll absolutely hate. Research has found that lack of sleep diminishes your skin barrier function and your skin ages faster. Just think of sleep as part your nightly regular skincare routine, ladies.
6. Negatively affects your mood and mental health
Poor sleep quality has been linked to mood and mental health problems. You are more likely to feel lonely, irritated and mildly depressed, which can slowly develop into serious mental health issues. This study found that people with insomnia are two times more likely to have depression, compared to those who have enough sleep.
Tips for sleep-deprived mums
Here’s some advice to avoid these side effects of sleep deprivation.
Sleep earlier. You know you might be woken up in the middle of the night for something or another. To accommodate, sleep earlier. In any case, if there’s no trouble from the kids then it is bonus sleep time.
Work together with hubby. Woke up five times after 3 am to handle your kids’ tummy problems? Talk with your other half about taking turns attending to the children at night so you will have more uninterrupted sleep.
Help junior sleep better. If your older kids are having sleeping problems, try adopting a set bedtime every night and get room-darkening shades. But if the problems still persist, maybe it is time to visit the paediatrician. Newborns are the exception – they take between three to six months to have a sleep schedule. Check out these 6 tips to help your child sleep better.
Relax, take it easy before bed. Your kids get a bedtime ritual like a song, bedtime story or a hug. What about you? Start reading a book, listen to a little music and invest in a comfortable bed, blanket and pillows. Try this breathing exercise if you’re having trouble heading to dreamland.