Sleep. We all want it. ALL. THE. TIME. Until you have children, you don’t really ever know just how precious is it! Today Erika, our resident sleep consultant from The Sleep Dept is chatting with us about how sleep is a must for a healthy relationship and how being sleep deprived is never a good thing.
Does this sound familiar?
You’ve been up half the night with your bub, you haven’t showered in two days and the only thing you’ve eaten all day is a muesli bar. Then, you walk into the bathroom and your significant other has left the toilet seat up. Suddenly, rage bubbles inside you and your eyes well with angry tears. You pounce on your unsuspecting partner, who’s putting the baby down for a nap. “Can you try and be a little more considerate?” you snap, your voice a little louder and harsher than you’d intended. Now, your bub is crying, your partner looks hurt and you feel guilty as hell.
When your baby isn’t sleeping properly, it has a knock-on effect on your relationship. You and/or your partner end up being awake half the night, trying to get the bub to drift off again. But even the parent who isn’t on night duty ends up having a crappy night’s sleep, as their partner is constantly in and out of bed.
Sleep deprivation impacts your mood
Research shows that even partial sleep deprivation (for example, getting only 4-5 hours of sleep) can have a profound impact on your mood. When you’re not getting an optimal amount of good quality shut-eye, it can leave you feeling irritable and emotionally exhausted. Couple this with the general stress of being a new parent and it’s no surprise that even the smallest thing can make you bite your partner’s head off.
Lack of sleep not only makes you more short-tempered, but it actually negatively impacts your conflict resolution skills. So, your arguments will be longer and more serious than they would if you were well-rested — no matter how petty the subject matter is. Yep, it’s no wonder that sleep deprivation is one of the biggest causes of divorce!
Worse yet is when one partner feels as though the other isn’t pulling their weight. For example, if your significant other has to get up early for work in the mornings, so you’re saddled with sleep duty every night. This can lead to feelings of resentment, which obviously has no place in a healthy relationship. Parenting is hard enough as it is without feeling like you and your partner aren’t on the same team!
In the early stages of parenting, it’s important to clearly define what each partner’s role will be. One good way to do this is by having a sleep roster that lays out who will be on sleep duty on certain nights of the week. That said, sleepless nights don’t have to be a given when you’re a new parent. By using gentle sleep techniques, you can get your bub to sleep through the night. And when your baby is sleeping well, it’ll help you regain those essential hours of rest and you’ll become a healthy, happy family again!
Other feature articles Erika has written for us
Why baby sleep training isn’t all just black and white – view here.
Top tips for dealing with the 4 month sleep regression – view here.
Tips for getting rid of the dummy – view here.
Erika has been working in childcare for nearly a decade. She’s worked with Newborns, Toddlers, Special Needs, Multiples… and everything in between. Her curiosity in guiding babies to sleep began in 2012, and she quickly read every book she could get her hands on. She then completed qualified training courses in various sleep training techniques. Over the years, she would help out friends and families, before she took her growing passion and turned it into The Sleep Dept. Erika has created her own gentle techniques that have had a 100% success rate. There is no better feeling than supporting families to not only find a solution to their families sleep issues, but one that they also feel comfortable with. To find more about her services, visit thesleepdept.com
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