If you were not getting enough sleep before having kids, it likely hasn’t become easier since. No matter what stage or situation you are in, you worry about your children. When you have kids, your priorities change, and you may find yourself ruminating more often before you fall asleep each night. Poor sleep can interfere with your way of life. Take stock of the signs you may need more sleep that can be noticed by everyone around you.
Your appearance may suffer if you’re not getting enough sleep. While general signs of a lack of self-care could be a sign of depression or another health condition, you may need to get more sleep at night to improve the look of your eyes and skin. The most common physical signs of sleep deprivation are:
- Dark undereye circles
- Red, puffy eyes
- Dull skin
Being Dependent on Your Alarm Clock
No one enjoys being startled awake—especially mothers of newborns. Most people need at least seven hours each night, and if you’re a friend of the snooze button, you may require more. Try to find your sweet spot by going to bed half an hour earlier each night until you wake up feeling refreshed. Some chores can wait until tomorrow.
Of course, no one likes lying awake at night either. It is normal to take 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep, but if something—such as pain or the temperature of the room—is causing you to stay awake, you may need a new mattress. Your mattress can greatly affect your sleep, and the same style doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.
Getting Sick Often
Good sleep keeps your immune system in check. If you experience periods of high stress followed by dips in your general health—such as a cold or triggers to a preexisting health condition—it could be because you’re not getting enough sleep. One of the simplest things you can do to improve your immune system and avoid illness is to get good sleep.
Drinking Excess Caffeine
A cup of joe is a good way to begin the day. If you’re a postpartum mother who loves Starbucks or your local coffee shop, you’ve likely been looking forward to the day when you can get back to your favorite drinks. During the months of your pregnancy, your tolerance to caffeine may have decreased, so drinking the same amount as you did before you were pregnant may be adding to what is keeping you up at night.
Pro Tip: Doctors consider it safe for breastfeeding moms to drink two to three cups of coffee each day, but that still might be too much caffeine if you want to get a good night’s rest.
Losing Your Focus
The last thing any mother wants is to make a mistake involving their baby. During sleep, the brain processes information it picked up throughout the day. If the brain doesn’t get enough time for this process, it won’t reset and prepare you for the next day. Therefore, you might be more likely to hold on to things if you’re not getting enough sleep.
Other focus-related complications that can stem from sleep deprivation include:
- Trouble completing tasks
- Poor memory
- Difficulty making decisions
- Making poor decisions
- Mood swings
Poor mental and physical health are not necessarily signs of sleep deprivation. If you have switched your mattress and given yourself adequate time to sleep at night, you could have a more serious reason for your sleep troubles. If you are noticing these five signs you may need more sleep, talk to your doctor to avoid unnecessary sickness and brain fog.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.