Friday, June 29, 2012

I have kids and I need more sleep

I just gave birth to my third child earlier this year. We will referr to her in this post and on this blog as the Diva. I promise to explain more later about this. Well it is awesome, exciting and wonderful to have another bambino in our home it also really messes up my sleep schedule.  And the staff at my local Dunkin Donuts wonder why I am there every day for my Carmel Swirl Iced latte. :)

I am a person that needs 8+ hours of sleep a night. I can survive with around 5 hours but it can't be every day. After multiple 5 hour nights I get to a point where I can't function properly. The Diva sleeps pretty well each night. She only gets up 1-2 times per night. We learned with our first two that if you feed a baby alot close to bedtime it helps them sleep.

I wanted to learn more about how lack of sleep effects a persons health so I did some Googling. I have two links to articles at the bottom of this post so you can read them for yourself.

Here is what I learned about the benefits of sleep:

1.) Improved memory-Makes sense, if you are groggy you are less likely to remember things. There are certain days I wake up if the baby has been up that I feel like I can't remember my name until I have a cup of coffee.

2.) Maintaining weight-In a May 2011 article written by  in The Huffington Post. Sparacino interviewed Dr. David Rapoport. He says, "Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain.When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite." As if that's not enough lack of sleep can have a negative effect on people dieting. "Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat -- 56 percent of their weight loss -- than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)"

3.) You live longer! Your organs and internal systems function better. Also you are less likely to hurt yourself ex driving off the side of the road from exhaustion.

4.) You have less stress. Those that get adaquate sleep are typically more in control of their emotions. Therefore they are less apt to have sudden spikes in blood pressure and improved cardiovascular health.

5.) You are less likely to suffer from depression. In the same Huffington Post article I mentioned earlier the author elaborates on the link between sleep and depression. "Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.

"A lack of sleep can contribute to depression," Dr. Jean says. "A good night's sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep."

If you think the long hours put in during the week are the cause of your anxiety or impatience, Dr. Rapoport warns that sleep cannot necessarily be made up during the weekend.

"If you sleep more on the weekends, you simply aren't sleeping enough in the week," he says. "It's all about finding a balance."

No matter what you do, try to take time each week to get a little more sleep. Your body needs it!


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