Sleep Deprivation After Baby

Sleep Deprivation After Baby

Parents of newborn infants are famously short on sleep. Your child will have his or her own notions of when to be awake and when it’s time to sleep; and the child’s wake- and sleep cycle will be on a much shorter clock than yours with the need to feed every few hours.

Sleep deprivation is not a minor problem, however common it might be for parents adapting to the introduction of the new addition to their family. And not getting enough sleep can lead to serious medical problems; both physical and mental.

Sleep comes in two main categories, differentiated by whether or not you’re in Rapid Eye Movement or not. Non REM sleep is simple unconsciousness. It does help a little, but REM is where the body and mind both get the lion’s share of their needed benefit from sleep. When you’re in REM sleep, which typically takes about an hour and a half of unconsciousness, the brain will enter into a sort of hyper restorative phase.

During REM, your mind is taking stock of what’s been going on. Memories and responses are evaluated and categorized. Think of REM as the natural way of getting reorganized for the next set of challenges. Simply put; if you’re not dreaming, you’re not sleeping efficiently. And to help your baby the best, you need to be at the top of your game.

Key Points:

  • 1Sleep is very important to how you function throughout the day.
  • 2Newborns have a different sleeping pattern than adults, and that is why they wake up so much.
  • 3You should trade off night responsibilities with your spouse to ensure some extra sleep.

Your infant’s sleep patterns are nothing like yours. First, his sleep includes a higher percentage of REM; at 3 months, your newborn spends 50 to 80 percent of sleep time in REM, compared with your 20 percent. Second, his sleep cycles run approximately 50 minutes; yours 90.


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