The importance of sleep for postpartum mums

Updated: Mar 17

“Sleep whenever you can. You’ll need it”. We have all heard this advice umpteen times from our friends and family while expecting our first baby, and there is a reason why this particular advice is so commonplace. Sleep is important to us, both physically and psychologically, and there are many reasons why.

Sleep is required for a stronger immune system

Our bodies produce a protein named cytokines when we sleep. Cytokines target infection and inflammation, creating an immune response, and a stronger immune system is always a good thing in these times where the covid-19 pandemic is ongoing.

Sleep deprivation increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Sleep deprivation affects your body’s release of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar. It also causes increased blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease.

Sleep is vital for the proper functioning of your brain

When you lack sleep, your concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills all take a hit and you find yourself less efficient in your daily tasks. You may also find yourself forgetting more often as insufficient sleep may affect your memory as well.

Sleep deprivation makes you moody and grumpy

Sleep deprivation has been found to make one moody, emotional, and quick to anger. Add this to the lowered mental capacity and efficiency, and you may find yourself getting more and more frustrated at yourself and everything.

Chronic sleep deprivation can even escalate into anxiety and depression.

  • Some signs of sleep deprivation include:

  • Fogginess in the mind

  • Lowered energy levels

  • Feeling constantly annoyed

  • Frequent mood swings

  • Feelings of depression

  • Panic attacks

  • Insomnia

So if you find yourself sad, frustrated, and angry at everything, calm down. It may just be the lack of sleep making you cranky. Find some time to sleep, and who knows, when you wake up and see your precious one smiling at you, you’ll find that the world is beautiful again.

***If you find yourself having suicidal thoughts or facing severe distress, please seek professional help immediately or call the Mental Health Helpline at 6389 2222 (24-hour hotline) for assistance.

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