Though some people pride themselves on not sleeping or sleeping very little, sleep deprivation has damaging effects on your body and mental health. That injury or cold you got may not have truly been an accident or by chance. Lack of sleep impairs cognitive functions and prevents your body from boosting your immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses. Here are three of the most important things sleep-deprived moms should be aware of.
You’ll Probably Lose Your Temper More
Sleep deprivation has several negative cognitive impacts, with one of them being irritability. You’re more likely to lose your temper when you haven’t had enough sleep. You may find yourself yelling or snapping at your children. Even if you don’t take it out on them, when they overhear you losing your temper, it can have a negative effect on them. Although you’re only human, minimizing how often you lose your temper is good for both your overall well-being and your children’s well-being. Children who are yelled at are at higher risk of aggression both verbally and physically. They may also develop anxiety or low self-esteem. Another problem with yelling at kids is they won’t be as receptive to the lesson behind your words as they would if you spoke to them calmly. Even adults are the same way. Think about how much you remember when someone yells at you. Probably not much. You remember more of what someone said to you if they were calm and respectful.
Think Twice Before You Drive
Often compared with drunk driving, drowsy driving causes 6,000 accidents every year. Lack of sleep causes the inability to concentrate, decreased coordination, impaired decision making, and microsleep. Impatience on top of that puts you at a higher risk of a car accident. Sleep deprivation can also cause hallucinations, which aren’t always visual. Some hallucinations are auditory. Microsleep — falling asleep for a few seconds — is dangerous because you don’t always realize it’s happening, and it can cause accidents. With all of these negative effects considered, driving while sleep-deprived is something you should avoid whenever possible. It puts not only yourself at risk but your children and others on the road. Ask your spouse or someone you trust to drive instead. Another option is to take public transportation or use rideshare services like Uber.
You’re More Likely to Get Sick
Getting enough quality sleep is important for your physical health, too. The body and brain repair themselves during sleep. Naps aren’t a good way of catching up on missed sleep because short naps aren’t long enough for your body to reach the stage of sleep when it works on repairing muscles and tissues and boosting the immune system. When you fall ill, you’ll find it more difficult to care for your children. You won’t be able to do as much as you could in good health. If you catch a contagious illness, you may also spread it to your kids — and we all know how miserable that can be for all involved.
Failing to get enough sleep every night has a detrimental effect on your body. You want to stay in good health, not only for yourself, but for your family too. Sleep deprivation increases your likelihood of falling ill, causes you to become more impatient and irritable, and impairs your ability to focus and stay alert. So do whatever you need to do to make sure that you’re getting adequate sleep.
Here’s another article you might like: 5 Hygiene Habits Your Kids Need to Develop Early