The Effects Of Being
Sleep Deprived

Postpartum Depression and
Sleep Deprivation

Studies have shown that about 80 percent of women diagnosed with postpartum depression suffer from insomnia and feel the effects of being sleep deprived. In fact, many people who suffer from depression - not only mothers - struggle with insomnia and the effects of sleep deprivation. Symptoms of sleep deprivation seem to be very common among the depressed. 

Insomnia is defined as a condition in which the person has difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep. Although a person may sleep eight straight hours during the night, they may still suffer from insomnia and be sleep deprived because the quality of their sleep was bad.

PPD And The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

So, what is it about postpartum depression that keeps mothers awake at night? In actuality, the right question might be: could the effects of sleep deprivation contribute to the onset of postpartum depression?

According to Dr. Michael Perlis, a specialist in sleep research, it seems as though insomnia could be an early warning that postpartum depression is near. It appears a little too coincidental that many women who struggle with postpartum depression show symptoms and effects of sleep deprivation, and experience insomnia several weeks before the onset of depression symptoms occurs.

It is no secret that the human body requires physical rest in order to function properly. In fact, a lack of adequate sleep can lead to hallucinations, anxiety, physical weakness, trouble concentrating, and irritability, among many other things. These symptoms and the inability to fall or remain asleep could very well trigger the onset of depression, particularly in new mothers who often experience disruption in their sleep pattern.

Why Can’t Mom Sleep?

There are some common reasons why a new mom will suffer from sleep deprivation. As the mother of a newborn, you may recognize many of these reasons for not getting sufficient sleep.

  • Too Anxious To Sleep - Many new moms suffering with postpartum depression are just too anxious to sleep. Anxiety can inhibit the ability to fall asleep as well as the ability to sleep deeply. It is common for new mothers to wake to any little sound, perhaps worried or anxious they won’t hear their infant’s cry at night. Other mothers who are suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety find it difficult or impossible to relax deeply enough to fall asleep in the first place.
  • Interrupted Sleep - Insomnia could also be sparked by frequent interruptions in a person’s sleep routine. For example, a mother is likely to wake up four or five times throughout the night to feed a newborn baby. If she previously experienced no such disturbance in her sleep patterns, then this type of irregularity could have a serious impact on her body. She may no longer be able to obtain restful sleep or may find it difficult to fall back asleep after tending to the baby. Also, because interruptions of this nature are likely to be recurring, she may even turn those interruptions into a routine which could have a lasting negative effect on her health.
  • Lack of Routine - The lack of a good sleep routine may also be to blame. Not all babies wake up at the same times throughout the night, which can lead to an unpredictable sleep schedule. Suddenly, mom’s body doesn’t know when the next bout of sleep is going to come or how long it will last. This can result in anxiety, restlessness, and exhaustion.

All of these situations can contribute to the formation of insomnia, which in turn can spark the onset or worsening of postpartum depression. When a new mom finds that she has trouble sleeping, or believes that her sleep schedule or quality of sleep is having an impact on her life, there are steps she can take to remedy the sleep deprivation. Catching insomnia early on is important to lessen and even prevent the symptoms of postpartum depression.

Natural Sleep Remedies

Suffering some sleep deprivation is a challenges new parents face, and it’s a fact of life with a newborn that sleep will not be the same for awhile, but there are natural sleep remedies available that can be invaluable to new parents suffering from sleep deprivation.

Have Questions Or Some Wisdom About Postpartum Insomnia?

Do you have questions about postpartum insomnia? Or perhaps you have some great tips to share with other new moms suffering from postpartum insomnia. Please share them here!

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"No mother has to suffer from PPD needlessly. This is a fact. But until you know what you're up against, you'll still be trapped - without knowing why! A typical example is the common misconception that depression is "all just in the mind." Your first step is to keep an open mind; and allow Laura to take you by the hand and guide you step by step through the PPD universe. Using a "wellness" approach, and with her usual friendly and informative style, trust me, she can help you help yourself getting out of the rut - naturally - in no time."

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